Author Topic: Tacos al Pastor  (Read 9735 times)

Offline nateo

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Tacos al Pastor
« on: June 21, 2012, 09:29:03 AM »
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.
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Offline euge

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 10:13:40 AM »
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.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline nateo

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2012, 10:34:41 AM »
Oops. We never actually shared a recipe. But I suggest reading it. Consider the "authentic" approach.

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Offline The Professor

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2012, 11:12:42 AM »
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!
AL
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Offline nateo

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2012, 11:26:20 AM »
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."
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Offline nateo

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2012, 11:35:31 AM »
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.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 12:26:55 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.
AL
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Offline euge

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 03:58:06 PM »
Think I'm gonna use your recipe as a basis for some fresh sausage made from pork-butt.

Chorizo al Pastor.
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Offline edvinjonsson

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 04:22:47 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

Offline nateo

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 04:25:56 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.
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2012, 05:07:11 PM »
I like to grill the pineapple. And don't forget the chopped onion and cilantro.

Offline nateo

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 05:17:17 PM »
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.

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Offline troybinso

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2012, 05:53:18 PM »
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.

Offline greatplainsbrewer

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2012, 06:01:46 PM »
If I remember correctly cooks illustrated ran a recipe on this that is really good.

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Tacos al Pastor
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2012, 01:42:41 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.
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