Pork Al Pastor Tacos
The Guajillo (wha-hee-oh) chile is the most common dried chile in Mexico after the Ancho. The flavor of the Guajillo is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under taste. Guajillo flavors dished easily so a little goes a long way. This chile is between a 2-4 on the heat scale of 1-10. Guajillo, combined with the Passilla and Ancho, form the holy trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces.
A mildly hot chile. Use in sauces, salsa, soups and your favorite chile. A little goes a long way.
4 lb pork butt roast
1/4 pineapple, sliced into long 1/4-inch thick strips
2 ancho chiles
1 guajillo chile
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup fresh pineapple
1 Chipotle chile (in adobo sauce)
1 Tbsp adobo sauce
1 Tbsp vinegar
5 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp achiote paste (or 1/2 tsp paprika)
Small white corn tortillas
Minced Vidalia onion
Put the pork in the freezer until its firm enough to cut (about 30 minutes).
Put the the ancho and guajillo chiles along with the bay leaf in a put of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow the chiles to steep until they are rehydrated. Discard the seeds and stems and toss the chiles in a food processor along with all the other ingredients.
Take the roast out of the freezer and orient the roast how you’d have it sitting in the roasting pan (fat side up). The idea here is that you want to slice the meat into 3/4″ thick slices that will stack on top of each other in the roasting pan. I don’t slice all the way through which helps when you’re trying to put the roast back together.
Slather the marinade between each layer until every nook and cranny is covered. Tie the roast back together. Cover it and allow it to marinade for no more than an hour. Fresh pineapple has a powerful enzyme that breaks down proteins and if you let it sit too long you’ll end up with mush. If you’re using canned pineapple let it marinate overnight as most of the enzyme is destroyed in the canning process.
When the roast is ready to go in the oven, set the oven to 450 degrees F. Put the roast on a rack in a roasting pan and add water to the bottom of the pan (this is to keep the drippings from smoking). Roast for 30 minutes at this temperature then place the pineapple slices on top of the roast and turn down the heat to 300 degrees F. Roast until the meat is tender (about 3 hours).
After removing the meat from the oven, cover it with foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, just cut the meat up into small cubes. I like to pan fry it at this point to give the pieces a bit more caramelization but it’s up to you.
To assemble the tacos just heat up a pile of tortilla’s in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel for about 30 seconds. Using 2 tortilla’s per taco, fill with meat, then top with minced onions, cilantro and salsa verde. Serve with a wedge of lime for squeezing.