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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: nateo on June 21, 2012, 04:29:03 PM

Title: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: nateo on June 21, 2012, 04:29:03 PM
Does anyone have a really good method for tacos al pastor?

I've made a lot that were better than most, but not as good as the best. I've tried different cuts, shoulder/butt, picnic shoulder, country ribs, loin. I haven't tried leg or side cuts. I've roasted and grilled them, depending on what cut I'm using. I think picnic shoulder and high-temp roasting has worked out the best so far.

Here's my latest marinade (~1hr):
3 quajillo
2 ancho
1/4c apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinammon
1/2 med. onion
5 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
3 tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tbsp adobo sauce
1/2 tsp pimenton dulce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4c pineapple

On the roasts I'll slice 3/4" slabs part-way through, and stick thin pineapple slices inside, then tie up with butcher's twine for cooking. I think I've nailed the bark and texture, but I need a way to either get the flavor to penetrate more deeply, or maybe I need to use a finishing sauce or something.

Any suggestion are welcome.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: euge on June 21, 2012, 05:13:40 PM
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4513.0 (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4513.0)

Oops. We never actually shared a recipe. But I suggest reading it. Consider the "authentic" approach.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: nateo on June 21, 2012, 05:34:41 PM
Oops. We never actually shared a recipe. But I suggest reading it. Consider the "authentic" approach.

I don't have a Shawarma spit.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: The Professor on June 21, 2012, 06:12:42 PM
Does anyone have a really good method for tacos al pastor?
...

The recipe you listed looks good.  As far as the meat goes, I think shoulder ('Boston' cut butt) works best.
The marinade looks quite good. 

It wouldn't be authentic, but I'd probably add a measure of a good, malt forward beer to it anyway.
And I think I'll try your marinade this summer!
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: nateo on June 21, 2012, 06:26:20 PM
I'm eating some leftovers for lunch right now. I made some more of the marinade, only I used more like 1/2c of pineapple, no salt, and 1tsp each of garlic and onion powder instead of fresh. I cut the meat into cubes and pan-fried until they were hot. I then tossed the cubes in a little bit of the sauce (~1tsp for 2 taco's worth), and the flavor was more of what I was shooting for.

So, I know it's not "authentic" but it tastes a lot more like the commercial al pastor I've had. It's like cloning a beer, I want to clone what's on the plate, and I don't care if what I have to do isn't "authentic."
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: nateo on June 21, 2012, 06:35:31 PM
As far as the meat goes, I think shoulder ('Boston' cut butt) works best.

I'm not an expert on meat cuts. Is a boston butt different than other shoulder/butt cuts? I know the picnic is the bottom half of the shoulder, and the butt is the top, but that's about it.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: The Professor on June 21, 2012, 07:26:55 PM
As far as the meat goes, I think shoulder ('Boston' cut butt) works best.

I'm not an expert on meat cuts. Is a boston butt different than other shoulder/butt cuts? I know the picnic is the bottom half of the shoulder, and the butt is the top, but that's about it.

Right...the Boston butt is the top part of the shoulder. Part of the blade bone is usually in there (though some stores also sell it boneless).  Great cut because it is well marbled...cooks up very tender in a braise or slow roast or smoking.  If you can get heritage pork, it's even more incredibly good.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: euge on June 21, 2012, 10:58:06 PM
Think I'm gonna use your recipe as a basis for some fresh sausage made from pork-butt.

Chorizo al Pastor.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: edvinjonsson on June 21, 2012, 11:22:47 PM
That's what I ate last saturday, drunk, at 3 am, in a place outside on the street, with flies everywhere. Hmmmm ::). That's the secret here in Mexico, forget everything about hygene.  ;D
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: nateo on June 21, 2012, 11:25:56 PM
Think I'm gonna use your recipe as a basis for some fresh sausage made from pork-butt.

Chorizo al Pastor.

I think the heat-to-spice ratio is solid. I like a fair amount of heat, way more than anyone here in Missouri. In Colorado the "hot" or "extra hot" salsa was usually just about right, except at really authentic restaurants, then the "hot" was a bit much.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: troybinso on June 22, 2012, 12:07:11 AM
I like to grill the pineapple. And don't forget the chopped onion and cilantro.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: nateo on June 22, 2012, 12:17:17 AM
I like to grill the pineapple. And don't forget the chopped onion and cilantro.

I grill the pineapple slices on top of, and inside of, the pork. To paraphrase the 70-year-old Mexican guy I used to work with "Me no new, me taco long time."

Salsa verde and diced onion/cilantro.

(http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l218/dreesoberle/tacospastor.jpg)
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: troybinso on June 22, 2012, 12:53:18 AM
There was a place in Morelia, Mexico that had a deal on tacos al pastor. They were 1 peso each. At that time it came out to be about 10 cents each. They were kind of on the small side. I think I had 12 and was stuffed. Probably had a caguama or two to go with it.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: greatplainsbrewer on June 22, 2012, 01:01:46 AM
If I remember correctly cooks illustrated ran a recipe on this that is really good.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: phillamb168 on June 25, 2012, 08:42:41 AM
Think I'm gonna use your recipe as a basis for some fresh sausage made from pork-butt.

Chorizo al Pastor.

Uh, brilliant?

Looks like a pretty easy recipe, I'll switch the pimenton doux for fort, and add in a 1/4 cup of pineapple juice. Serve with a little salsa of diced onion, cilantro and lime juice of course.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: brewmichigan on June 25, 2012, 01:16:53 PM
I just bought the Better Homes and Gardens special edition "Mexican" magazine. They had a Tacos al Pastor recipe in there. I'll take a pic of the page and post it.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: phillamb168 on June 26, 2012, 12:02:18 PM
I just bought the Better Homes and Gardens special edition "Mexican" magazine. They had a Tacos al Pastor recipe in there. I'll take a pic of the page and post it.

Thanks! Can't wait to see what they have.
Title: Re: Tacos al Pastor
Post by: brewmichigan on June 27, 2012, 01:14:26 PM
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg304/miguel622/Recipes/2012-06-27_07-48-02_866.jpg
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg304/miguel622/Recipes/2012-06-27_07-48-09_101.jpg

Here is the page(s) with the Tacos al pastor recipe. It starts on the first page and kinda goes into the second with the picture of them.