Tacos al Pastor


A delicious and traditional Mexican dish, tacos al pastor are made with spit-roasted pork and are typically served with pineapple, cilantro, and onion on a small corn tortilla. First introduced to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants, tacos al pastor have become a staple of Mexican cuisine and can be found at street stalls and taquerias all over the country.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 5 cm pieces
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 pasilla chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 10-12 small corn tortillas

Method

  1. Place the pork, onion, garlic, chiles, cumin, oregano, cloves, vinegar, pineapple juice, salt, and pepper in a large pot or Dutch oven and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours, or until the pork is very tender.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and let the pork cool in the cooking liquid for 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a cutting board and coarsely chop it.
  3. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot or Dutch oven and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half. Return the chopped pork to the pot and stir to combine.
  4. To assemble the tacos, place a piece of pineapple, a spoonful of pork, and a sprinkle of cilantro on each tortilla. Serve immediately.

Potential changes & improvements

There are many potential changes and improvements that can be made to this dish. For example, you could try using a different type of meat such as chicken or beef. You could also add different vegetables to the tacos, such as lettuce, tomatoes, or avocado. Finally, you could change the types of chiles used in the recipe to adjust the level of heat.

What other food it works well with

Tacos al pastor go well with a variety of other foods. Try serving them with rice and beans, a salad, or some grilled vegetables. They would also be delicious with a side of chips and salsa or guacamole.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake when making tacos al pastor is to overcook the meat. This will make it tough and dry, so be sure to simmer the pork until it is very tender. Another mistake is to use too much pineapple juice, which can make the dish too sweet. Be sure to taste the pork before adding the pineapple and only add as much as you need.

Nutritional Information

Tacos al pastor are a relatively high-fat food, but they are also a good source of protein and vitamins. Each taco contains about 200 calories and 10 grams of fat.

Allergens

This dish contains pork, cilantro, and corn. It does not contain any common allergens.


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