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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Slight New Obsession. . .A Hunt for an Al Pastor Taco Recipe

It's been a long time since I had that squiggly feeling. . .the one that comes when I am all aflutter for some new flavor or recipe but am unable to recreate it.  I've tried a number of variations so far but either I haven't found the right recipe yet or something in my technique is off.

Part of the issue is that the recipes I have found are so incredibly varied that it's hard to tell which one is the real deal.  Some don't have any chiles, let alone chipotles, but most of them include pineapple and achiote paste (or at least the ingredients IN achiote paste!).  If you can find the right combination of ingredients, a delicious marinade is blended and mixed in to strips of pork.  After a few hours, the pork is grilled and tacos from heaven are created.  De-Lish!

Here's a very good recipe, but it's not quite what I get in authentic Mexican restaurants, so if any of you have a better recipe, or method, I am ALL EARS!

  • 2 Lbs. Boneless Pork Butt (or other boneless pork), cut into strips
  • 1 Can of Pineapple Chunks or Bits in Juice, Drained with Juice Reserved
  • 3/8 Cup Canola or Olive Oil, Divided
  • One Ounce Achiote Paste
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic
  • 1/2 White, Yellow, or Brown Onion, Finely Chopped and Divided
  • 4 Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • Cotija Cheese to garnish
  • Corn tortillas to serve

  • Mix pineapple juice, 1/4 cup oil, achiote paste, garlic, 1/4 cup onion, chipotles and salt in blender or food processor
  • Blend until smooth
  • In large ziplock, mix pork strips and marinade, kneading bag to insure all pork is covered
  • Leave in fridge to marinate for 2-4 hours (or even overnight!)
  • Chop pineapple into small dice and mix with chopped onion and cilantro
  • When ready to cook, remove excess marinade from meat 
  • Grill on bbq or grill pan over medium high heat, turning, until cooked through and slightly charred
  • Serve in heated corn tortillas, garnished with the pineapple/cilantro mixture and cotija cheese

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