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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: roguejim on November 09, 2010, 08:07:28 PM

Title: Al Pastor
Post by: roguejim on November 09, 2010, 08:07:28 PM
How many of you guys have had the real deal? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_pastor

Where I live now, in Southern Oregon, they try and fake it by cooking the pork in a frying pan, with chiles/spices.  It doesn't fly.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: tschmidlin on November 09, 2010, 08:19:45 PM
You should set this up as a poll. . .

I've never had the real thing, never even heard of it that I can recall.  It sounds good though :)
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: corkybstewart on November 09, 2010, 08:53:11 PM
There's a guy in Pecos Texas who does this for weddings and other big parties.  We ran across him at a graduation party for a friend getting a Masters.  It was pretty good, but really seemed like a lot more show than substance.  Pork has to be well done, and that's tough to do on this setup.  He would shave some half cooked meat, then stir fry it before serving it to the guests. The marinade was good but I think it would have been as good cooked on a disc and a lot simpler.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: nicneufeld on November 09, 2010, 09:00:54 PM
I fake it by using rib trimmings, which I smoke along with the ribs, then slice them up and freeze them for such things.  Not super authentic, but you can't really go wrong with smoked rib meat tacos.  I like to add pineapple, the wife not so much.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: johnf on November 09, 2010, 09:16:05 PM
Sure. Quite possibly the best restaurant in Kansas City serves it on a fantastic 1.25 taco.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: phillamb168 on November 09, 2010, 09:17:16 PM
Ever since leaving Chicago I've been trying to find an Al Pastor recipe to rival what I ate there. I'm hoping Kenji on Serious Eats will get to doing one sometime soon, but we'll see. If you've got a recipe, post it, I'd be happy to try.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: nicneufeld on November 09, 2010, 09:25:20 PM
Sure. Quite possibly the best restaurant in Kansas City serves it on a fantastic 1.25 taco.

Which one would that be?  I'm south of the stadium complex in east KC.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: roguejim on November 09, 2010, 09:55:48 PM
There's a guy in Pecos Texas who does this for weddings and other big parties.  We ran across him at a graduation party for a friend getting a Masters.  It was pretty good, but really seemed like a lot more show than substance.  Pork has to be well done, and that's tough to do on this setup.  He would shave some half cooked meat, then stir fry it before serving it to the guests. The marinade was good but I think it would have been as good cooked on a disc and a lot simpler.

He did not know what he was doing IMHO...

The best I've had was in East Los Angeles at King Taco.  We would only venture down there during the day when the foot patrolman was on duty.  Gang territory back then in the early 80s...

Anyway, theses $1 tacos were served on a small, double layered corn tortilla.  There was the meat followed by finely chopped cabbage, finely chopped white onion/cilantro mix, a white Mexican cheese, and the optional searing red sauce.  It was the type of bold flavor that would stay with you all day.  Damn, I miss it.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: roguejim on November 09, 2010, 10:00:25 PM
Ever since leaving Chicago I've been trying to find an Al Pastor recipe to rival what I ate there. I'm hoping Kenji on Serious Eats will get to doing one sometime soon, but we'll see. If you've got a recipe, post it, I'd be happy to try.

I cannot vouch for this recipe as it is an adaptation.  Any recipe will be an adaptation if one doesn't have the vertical rotisserie.
http://mexicofoodandmore.com/dinner/tacos-al-pastor.html

I think I would marinate the pork over night in the chile/spice mix..

One more...
http://www.ehow.com/how_2176065_make-tacos-al-pastor.html
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: johnf on November 09, 2010, 10:25:21 PM
Sure. Quite possibly the best restaurant in Kansas City serves it on a fantastic 1.25 taco.

Which one would that be?  I'm south of the stadium complex in east KC.

El Camino Real in downtown KCK. They have a second location but I am only vouching for the original location. I've done some exploring of the menu but the tacos are really why this place is so notable.

Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: bluesman on November 09, 2010, 10:30:03 PM
Never had the opportunity to try this.  Sounds very good though.
I'll keep it in mind the next time I get down to the Southwestern area of the country.
I assume you can get it there?
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: denny on November 09, 2010, 10:49:29 PM
You should set this up as a poll. . .


Done!
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: capozzoli on November 09, 2010, 11:11:15 PM
Oh man its good. I get them at Taco Riendo in Philly. Not far from where I work actually.

Funny, I always thought that they made them another way and that Taco Riendo got their hands on one of those Greek rotisseries.
Now I know they are the real thing.

I should have know this place has tacos de lengua and tacos de cabasa. You can see the kitchen when they chop your taco meat  ans the cabasa is real cabasa. I always ask for the brain.

Bluesman maybe we should go there for lunch when we modify your brewstand.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: tschmidlin on November 09, 2010, 11:30:57 PM
You should set this up as a poll. . .


Done!
You're the man D. 8)
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: flapjack on November 09, 2010, 11:50:08 PM
I had them last year when I was in Mexico and they were great! The meat rotates in a "gyro machine" and has a fresh pineapple sitting above it, they slice the meat directly onto a double tortilla and then slice some of the pineapple on top. Another excellent thing I had while down there was in the Yucatan, the Cochinita Pibil taco. It's a pork shoulder (I think) marinated with achiote paste, wrapped in a banana leaf and then buried underground with coals. It comes out like pulled pork, served on hand-made tortillas with pickled onions and habanero sauce. Here's a pic

(http://images1.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp3%3A2%3Enu%3D3266%3E3%3C4%3E4%3A5%3EWSNRCG%3D3235%3A%3A%3A%3B%3C292%3Bnu0mrj)
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: chumley on November 10, 2010, 12:01:18 AM
Yes, I have had the version with the roasted pineapple on it. Delicious!
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: bluesman on November 10, 2010, 02:56:42 AM
You should set this up as a poll. . .


Done!
You're the man D. 8)

Denny's a movin' and a groovin'  ;D

Oh man its good. I get them at Taco Riendo in Philly. Not far from where I work actually.

Bluesman maybe we should go there for lunch when we modify your brewstand.

Now that sounds like a good plan.  ;)
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: euge on November 10, 2010, 06:49:01 AM
We get it served on 5-6 tiny corn tortillas laid out on a plate. A little cilantro, onion and chile.

Cap- "Taco Riendo" is a play on words. Esta' Corriendo or loosely is running into running taco. :) Maybe running away...?

But Spanish is funny like that.

Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: phillamb168 on November 10, 2010, 07:42:43 AM
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/gyro-meat-with-tzatziki-sauce-recipe/index.html

This is Alton Brown's recipe for Gyros. If you scroll down you'll see his instructions for doing it rotisserie-style. I know al pastor is typically chunks of meat as opposed to a paste, but I wonder if this wouldn't be closer to the "original" al pastor that came to Mexico from the Middle East? Plus it's all done in a food processor, and I loves me some food processorin'.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: euge on November 10, 2010, 08:14:32 AM
The paste based sounds like some sort of mass produced product.  :P Seems to me AB's is an approximation.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: johnf on November 10, 2010, 02:03:34 PM
Alton's method would be completely authentic for European döner kebab, if that's what he was trying to make.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: phillamb168 on November 10, 2010, 02:24:20 PM
Alton's method would be completely authentic for European döner kebab, if that's what he was trying to make.

Exactly - the Lebanese supposedly brought the idea of al pastor to Mexico, and I was thinking that the "original" would have probably been something along the lines of doner or shawarma.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: tschmidlin on November 10, 2010, 04:53:57 PM
If it's already ground and then formed into the shape, it should be pretty tender already, right?  That's what I see with sausage if it's ground fine enough.  Maybe with the larger chunks it isn't tender enough, and that's why they use the pineapple.  Pure speculation.  :)
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: euge on November 10, 2010, 06:50:07 PM
From Wikipedia on Doner kebab

Quote
There are two basic ways of preparing the meat for doner kebabs:

    * The more common and authentic method is to stack marinated slices of lean lamb meat onto a vertical skewer in the shape of an inverted cone. The meat is cooked by charcoal, wood, electric, or gas burners. The döner stack is topped with fat (mostly tail fat), that drips along the meat stack when heated. At times, tomatoes, and onions are placed at the top of the stack to also drip juices over the meat, keeping it moist. In Turkey, most restaurants prepare their doner early in the morning, and serve the last portion by the end of the afternoon.
    * In Western Europe and Canada, meat for döner kebab is often industrially processed from compressed ground meat (in essence, a form of meatloaf) containing a mixture of different meat kinds from various animals, making the specific contents less traceable. For that purpose, in Germany the amount of ground meat is not allowed to surpass 60% (Deutsches Lebensmittelbuch).

I think the processed stuff is a bit more ubiquitous at least for gyros. Stacking up all that meat on a skewer is labor intensive, whereas one can simply unwrap something like this in the morning:
(http://www.kronosproducts.com/images/meats1.jpg) http://www.kronosproducts.com/p-meats1.html (http://www.kronosproducts.com/p-meats1.html)

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if there was something similar for Al Pastor.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: phillamb168 on November 10, 2010, 07:31:59 PM
For that purpose, in Germany the amount of ground meat is not allowed to surpass 60% (Deutsches Lebensmittelbuch).
[/quote]

It's the Reinheitsgebot of kebab!!!
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: euge on November 10, 2010, 07:38:13 PM
For that purpose, in Germany the amount of ground meat is not allowed to surpass 60% (Deutsches Lebensmittelbuch).


It's the Reinheitsgebot of kebab!!!

What's the other 40%? eeeeeek!
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: johnf on November 10, 2010, 08:00:04 PM
For that purpose, in Germany the amount of ground meat is not allowed to surpass 60% (Deutsches Lebensmittelbuch).


It's the Reinheitsgebot of kebab!!!

What's the other 40%? eeeeeek!

Don't know but it tastes awfully good when you are drunk. Surprised it never caught on in the US.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: tschmidlin on November 10, 2010, 08:04:18 PM
For that purpose, in Germany the amount of ground meat is not allowed to surpass 60% (Deutsches Lebensmittelbuch).


It's the Reinheitsgebot of kebab!!!

What's the other 40%? eeeeeek!
;D I suspect it's meat that has not been ground and is still somewhat identifiable.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: euge on November 10, 2010, 08:10:54 PM
That makes sense. Whew. :D

I can get a good gyro or souvlaki here at the Greek places but it isn't street food. Though that gives me some ideas.

Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: capozzoli on November 10, 2010, 11:00:06 PM
Those Greek gyro logs are more than 40% sheep testicles. Trust me, its true. The rest is other various unmentionable nasty bits.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: tschmidlin on November 10, 2010, 11:53:26 PM
Those Greek gyro logs are more than 40% sheep testicles. Trust me, its true. The rest is other various unmentionable nasty bits.
Not the ones I eat - the gyro place I like is halal.

Not that I'm opposed to eating testicles or anything. ;)
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: capozzoli on November 10, 2010, 11:56:04 PM
Testicles can be halal.

The animal just has to be killed according to Islamic law. Meaning it has to be bled out. Cant be smashed, or dead of injuries or disease.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: tschmidlin on November 11, 2010, 12:00:30 AM
Testicles can be halal.

The animal just has to be killed according to Islamic law. Meaning it has to be bled out. Cant be smashed, or dead of injuries or disease.
According to this, testicles are not halal no matter how the animal is killed:

http://www.halalmc.net/resources/what_is_halal.html
Unlawful Organs of Animals Slaughtered as Halal
    * Flowing Blood
    * Male reproductory organ
    * Testicles
    * Female reproductory organ
    * Pancreas
    * Gall bladder
    * Bladder

But it's not my belief system, and the internet isn't always right, so . . . Bouef.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: capozzoli on November 11, 2010, 01:08:57 AM
Interesting. I thought it was all good.

The Muslims don't know what they are missing, nothing like a mouth full of balls.

Next thing ya know Im gonna find out that balls are not kosher. oy vey.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: tschmidlin on November 11, 2010, 06:31:40 AM
Interesting. I thought it was all good.

The Muslims don't know what they are missing, nothing like a mouth full of balls.

Next thing ya know Im gonna find out that balls are not kosher. oy vey.
It's bad enough that bacon is out.  And shellfish.  And figs.  And meat with cheese. 
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: bluesman on November 11, 2010, 12:32:18 PM
Interesting. I thought it was all good.

The Muslims don't know what they are missing, nothing like a mouth full of balls.

Next thing ya know Im gonna find out that balls are not kosher. oy vey.

That's a difficult diet to swallow.  ;D
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: nicneufeld on November 11, 2010, 01:11:00 PM
In addition, I would always take a halal "certification" with a grain of kosher salt.  Apparently places can be a bit fast and loose with advertising halal status, from what I've heard, and there's not really a good authority in place for inspection and certification, I gather.

So even your halal place could -potentially- be chock full'a balls!
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: tschmidlin on November 11, 2010, 06:28:32 PM
In addition, I would always take a halal "certification" with a grain of kosher salt.  Apparently places can be a bit fast and loose with advertising halal status, from what I've heard, and there's not really a good authority in place for inspection and certification, I gather.

So even your halal place could -potentially- be chock full'a balls!
It's not like I eat there because it's halal, it's because the food is good and it's right next door to my bottle shop/pub (http://www.maltandvine.com/).  A dozen or so beers on tap, 800+ in bottles, and bring your own food . . . so even if my gyro is Chock Full o'Nuts (http://www.chockfullonuts.com/#/home) it doesn't bother me, I can usually wash it down with a Black Raven Trickster (http://www.blackravenbrewing.com/) or some other deliciously hopped malty beverage.  ;D
Title: Al Pastor Sauce
Post by: corkybstewart on May 16, 2011, 08:04:36 PM
Last night I went to a party celebrating Norway's Constitution Day, obviously one of the more important holidays.  My friend bought some goat pieces-3 rib racks and 3 hindquarters(he thinks) from a new Mexican meat market that just opened up.  The meat was marinated for 3 days in what the butcher calls Al Pastor sauce, then it was smoked at 225 for about 7 hours.  Oh lordy that stuff was great.  He just pulled the meat off with his hand, we ate it on corn tortillas with all the fixins that matter-raw onion and good salsa.  The sauce itself is red chile/cumin based but not quite as spicy as I would have liked.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: The Professor on May 16, 2011, 11:46:08 PM
Those Greek gyro logs are more than 40% sheep testicles. Trust me, its true. The rest is other various unmentionable nasty bits.

Of course, "the unmentionable nasty bits" are usually the tastiest part of the beast. 
Growing up in an Eastern European household (where no pat of the beast was wasted)  taught me that at an early age.
So, "Nothin awful about the offal"  as far as I'm concerned.

I believe that if you are going to kill a living creature for food, wasting any edible part is just wrong (and besides,  you'd be missing out on some tastiest stuff). 
Seems to me like a spinning hot flame roasting hunk of gyro mush is the perfect place to use it (and hide it.  LOL.)   ;D
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: euge on May 17, 2011, 03:07:54 AM
They threw me a party at work for the B-day. 

"We made your favorite!"
"Al Pastor!?"
"No, posole!

Can't win them all...
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: tschmidlin on May 17, 2011, 06:32:20 AM
Those Greek gyro logs are more than 40% sheep testicles. Trust me, its true. The rest is other various unmentionable nasty bits.

Of course, "the unmentionable nasty bits" are usually the tastiest part of the beast. 
Growing up in an Eastern European household (where no pat of the beast was wasted)  taught me that at an early age.
So, "Nothin awful about the offal"  as far as I'm concerned.

I believe that if you are going to kill a living creature for food, wasting any edible part is just wrong (and besides,  you'd be missing out on some tastiest stuff). 
Seems to me like a spinning hot flame roasting hunk of gyro mush is the perfect place to use it (and hide it.  LOL.)   ;D
I agree, you shouldn't throw away anything edible.  But I think we may have different interpretations of what is edible and what is not. ;)
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on May 17, 2011, 04:21:44 PM
A good gyro is one of my favorite sammiches and I love mexican food so there's almost no way I wouldn't love this (although it's hard to imagine not missing the tzatziki).

Regarding 'what is edible and what is not'; I do find it a little interesting that when predators kill prey...the things they go for first (i.e. the 'good stuff' to them) are the organs.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: corkybstewart on May 17, 2011, 04:31:30 PM
They threw me a party at work for the B-day. 

"We made your favorite!"
"Al Pastor!?"
"No, posole!

Can't win them all...
We love us some posole around here, it's in my top 2 favorite native local foods.  Now when you turn it to menudo I'm headed for McDonalds.
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: rabid_dingo on May 24, 2011, 02:30:35 AM
Al pastor and de cabesa are my favorite of all time.
I have only found small mom and pop places can get
anywhere close to the real deal. The pineapple on top
was the best. Especially if you got a guy that would
samurai sword style swipe the chunk into the air and
catch it in the taco effortlessly.

Man I am hungry for them now...Both types of tacos
were very common in the northern states of Mexico.
Sonora and Chihuahua. There was a run of months
that we would have them every Saturday...sigh...
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: rabid_dingo on May 24, 2011, 02:35:27 AM
By the way my Dad has a recipy of "Cochinita Pivil"
(No translation other than Pivil style little pig)
Or basically Annato braised pork loin.

Using Achiote OJ and vinegar and about 3-4 hours
in the oven on the lower end of the thermometer.

I think Achiote would be a key part of the Al Pastor
recipy. Annato seeds are the key ingredient in Achiote.

If memory serves me right...

Just thinking out loud...
Title: Re: Al Pastor
Post by: 1vertical on May 24, 2011, 04:04:52 PM
rabid
Check yer messages  :)