Andy's Tacos Al Pastor
A smoky, spicy pork-and-pineapple tacos from San Miguel de Allende
- For the Chipotle Salsa:
- 6 dried chipotle chilies
- 2 cups water
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1/2 large white onion, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For the Pork al Pastor:
- 2 cups water
- 5 dried ancho chilies
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
- 3 whole cloves, toasted
- 1 dried chipotle pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 large white onion, roughly chopped; plus another 1/2, cut into 1-inch wedges, for skewers
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon achiote or annatto paste (available at Latin American markets)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 medium tomato
- 3 ounces pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless pork butt, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1/2 pound salt pork, rind removed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- For the Tacos:
- 12 small corn tortillas
- 1/2 pineapple, peeled and core removed, cut into small dice
- Chopped cilantro, for serving
- 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
Adapted from online.wsj.com
Make Chipotle Salsa:
Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Once hot, add chilies to pan and cook until lightly toasted, 2 minutes per side. Add 2 cups water, bring to a simmer and cook until chilies are soft, about 15 minutes. Drain chilies and set aside. Reserve cooking liquid. Wipe pan clean and set over high heat. Once hot, add tomatoes, onions and garlic, and cook, turning frequently, until lightly charred all over, 10-15 minutes. Place softened chilies, charred vegetables and remaining ingredients along with half the reserved cooking liquid in a blender and purée until combined but still slightly chunky. Taste and season as needed. Set salsa aside and clean blender.
Make Pork Marinade:
Bring 2 cups water and ancho chilies to a simmer in a covered sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer until soft, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, drain chilies, reserving cooking liquid. Remove stems and seeds from chilies and place in blender along with cooking liquid, reserving ½ cup liquid. Add cumin, cloves, chipotle, garlic, half the roughly chopped onions, sea salt, achiote, sugar, vinegar, tomato, pineapple juice, soy sauce and oregano to blender and purée until consistency is similar to that of light cake batter. If too thick, add reserved cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time. Place marinade in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Lightly season both sides of pork-butt slices with salt and pepper, then cut into 1-inch squares. Cut salt-pork slices into 1-inch squares. Place pork-butt and salt-pork pieces in a large bowl. Add cooled marinade to pork, tossing to coat evenly. Stir in remaining roughly chopped onions. Cover bowl and chill in refrigerator at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Remove chilled, marinated pork from refrigerator. Thread pork pieces onto 4 long metal skewers, alternating occasionally with onion wedges. Reserve marinade. Let skewers come to room temperature, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan over medium heat, bring reserved marinade and chicken broth to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Heat a grill to medium-high or set a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place skewers on grill or pan and cook, rotating every 5 minutes, until cooked through, 15-20 minutes total. (Monitor grill, as dripping pork fat will cause flare ups. If this happens, move skewers out of flames. Some charring is okay.) Remove skewers from grill and let meat rest 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm Tortillas:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap stacks of 8 tortillas in aluminum foil and place packets in oven until heated through, 10-15 minutes. Remove foil from tortillas and transfer to a cloth-lined basket or bowl and cover with cloth.
Once pork has rested, remove from skewers and chop into ¼-inch chunks. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat, then add pork and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, 10 minutes.
To serve, place two tablespoons crisped pork in each tortilla, drizzle with about ½ teaspoon broth-marinade mixture and top with about 1 tablespoon chopped pineapple. Serve with chipotle salsa, cilantro, finely chopped onion and limes on the side.