What’s everyone cooking and eating this week? Since we’re reaching the peak here in Minnesota, we’re staying extra safe and are not venturing out for any groceries, which means we’re breaking into the frozen corn and canned beans, both of which made perfect sides for todays recipe, Tacos Al Pastor.
This recipe is great. It doesn’t take too much effort, unless you want it to. You can use it as a base and then add as much or as little sweet, heat, and acid as you like. Then pick your toppings and sides. I like my tacos with a hot hot hot salsa, cilantro, onion, radish, and a big squeeze of lime.
As far as sides go, I have to have refried beans, they’re delicious but they also help balance out all the spice in the tacos. I whipped up a quick Esquites (Elote off the cob). It’s pretty much just corn, mayo, parmesan, queso fresco, Tajin, and a squeeze of lime. If you want a full recipe for that check out my Elote Nachos, which would make the ultimate side or appetizer for these tacos. Lastly, I love fried cebollitas, or baby onions. All they need is a little salt, oil, and high heat. I like to throw them in the pan while I cook the pork for the tacos so they pick up a little acid from the pineapple and lime as well as a little heat.
This recipe calls for pork chops and a sauté pan. Most Al Pastor recipes call for pork shoulder and a slow cooker. The reason I don’t do that is because you’ll get a result closer to carnitas than pastor. I wanted this to be as close to the tacos you’d get from any food truck or taqueria and they’re just about that.
If you go to any really good taqueria, my favorite is Taco Taxi in Minneapolis, and watch them cook their pastor, you’ll see they take the meat, already marinated and cut into small pieces and throw it on the grill on high heat. They toss it around for a couple minutes, let the tortillas get just a little crispy on the edges, and it’s done.
|Prep: 13 Hours||Cook: 40 Minutes||Difficulty: Medium||Servings: 8 Tacos|
For the Pastor
- 1/4 Pineapple, cubed
- 3 Chilis In Adobo
- 2 Tbsp Adobo Sauce
- 1 M Yellow Onion, cubed
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 1/2 Bunch of Cilantro, large stems removed
- Juice of 2 Limes
- 2 tsp Lime Zest
- Juice of 1 Orange
- 2 tsp Orange Zest
- 1 Jalepeño, seeded and sliced
- 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 2 Tbsp Mexican Oregano
- 2 Tbsp Chicken Stock
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable or other high heat cooking oil.
- 4 Pork Chops
For the Salsa
- 1/4 C Pineapple, roasted or sautéed with Pastor
- 1/2 L Red Onion, cubed
- 1 Jalapeño
- 2 L Tomatoes
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Chicken Bullion Cube or Chicken Stock for Boiling
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Tacos
- 8 Corn Tortillas
- 2-3 Radishes, sliced, optional
- 1/2 M Yellow Onion, small diced, optional
- Cilantro, chopped, optional
- Sour Cream, optional
- Queso Fresco, optional
- In a blender, combine all Pastor ingredients except pork. Taste the marinade and decide if you want to add more heat, sweet, salt or acid.
- In a large bowl or gallon bag, add pork and pour the marinade on top. Mix so all sides of the pork are covered in marinade. Marinate 4 -12 hours.
- While the pork is marinating you can start the salsa and either add the roasted pineapple now or blend it in at the end if you chose to cook it with the pork.
- In a medium pot over high heat, add jalapeño, garlic and tomato. Cover with chicken stock and boil until the skin of the jalapeño and tomato start to split.
- Reserve 1/2 C of the cooking liquid and drain the rest.
- In a blender, combine all salsa ingredients except water. Blend on high and drizzle water in until desired consistency is reached.
- Taste for salt and season accordingly.
- Leave uncovered until fully cooled. Cover and refridgerate up to one week.
- Remove the pork from the marinade and dice it into small cubes.
- In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add vegetable oil, a spoon or two of marinade, and the diced pork. If you want to add the raw pineapple for the salsa, do so at this point.
- Cook the pork all the way through, 5-7 minutes, set aside.
- If you need to add the pineapple to the salsa, do so at this point.
- In a sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil and warm the tortillas until just crispy on the edges.
- Prepare all of your toppings and serve as desired.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you tried it out let me know in the comments. For more recipes check out my homepage and follow along on Instagram. Don’t forget to like, follow, comment and share. Thanks for reading!
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