Last week the company I work for had a pot luck lunch on our roof top deck. We pick a theme and everyone contributes. We even have a grill and 2 guys who love to man it. The grill guys, Mike and Sonny, brought al pastor, marinated pork, that they had bought at a Mexican market. It was delicious!
I thought about buying some for dinner this week and decided I could make it myself. I googled al pastor and was inundated with recipes. Most included surprisingly, pineapple in some form. I ended up combining 2 recipes, 1 from Rick Bayless http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/view?recipeID=192 and 1 from Steven Raichlen via epicurious.com http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Tacos-al-Pastor-242132.
Al Pastor my way
3 1/2-ounce package achiote paste (I found this at a Mexican market)
3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, plus 4 tablespoons of the canning sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (use 1/2 for the marinade and save 1/2)
1/4 of a medium pineapple, cored and cut into pieces
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar plus 1/2 cup for marinated onions
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and cored plus 2 more for guacamole
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds thin-sliced pork shoulder
small, warm corn tortillas with green chiles
your favorite salsa (We had some made by one of Mike's employees)
finely chopped cilantro
cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage
I basically threw the first 11 ingredients into my food processor and pureed it together. I added this mixture to a large ziplock bag and added the pork slices. I let this marinate in the refrigerator for about 8 hours.
While I preheated the oven to about 450 degrees I took the 2nd 1/2 of the onions and marinated them in a 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon sugar.
I made guacamole by mashing the avocados with 2 large garlic cloves, juice of 1/2 lime and kosher salt. I had a tiny bit of sour cream (maybe 1 tablespoon) and added that too.
I cooked the pork on a broiler pan for about 7 minutes per side. I chopped into small pieces to fit into the small tortillas.
I laid out the chopped pork, tortillas, guacamole, onions, slaw mix, cilantro and salsa and Mike and I assembled our tacos. Delicious flavors and combos and any leftover pineapple is great for dessert.