TACOS AL PASTOR
INGREDIENTS – MARINADE
1 ancho chile
4 guajillo chiles
4 garlic cloves
1 small onion (1 more onion later)
1 large tomato
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano or oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup orange juice
⅔ cup pineapple juice*
2¼ pounds pork loin
INGREDIENTS – REST
1 can diced pineapple (*You can use the pineapple juice from the can)
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (½ teaspoon at a time)
12 -to-24 corn tortillas*
1 cup pico de gallo
1 cup guacamole
* = If you like to put a lot of food in your tacos or if your tortillas are a bit on the crumbly side, then use 2 tortillas for each taco.
6 metal skewers
Serves 6. Takes 5 hours 30 minutes.
PREPARATION – MARINADE
Add ancho chile and guajillo chiles to pot. Cover with water. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Boil for 10 minutes or until chiles soften. Seed chiles. Add chiles and remaining marinade ingredients save pork loin to food processor. Blend until you get a smooth marinade. Add marinade and pork loin to large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
PREPARATION – REST
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut pork loin into ½” thick slices. Cut slices into 1″ squares. Alternate threading pork squares and pineapple pieces onto skewers. Place on oven rack. Place oven pan underneath to collect drippings. Cook for 12 minutes or until pork is no longer pink inside. Turn every 4 minutes.
Dice cilantro and 1 small onion. Cut limes into 4 wedges each. Add 1 tortilla and ½ teaspoon oil to pan. Sauté at medium heat just long enough to warm tortilla. Flip tortilla once. Repeat for remaining tortillas.
Make tacos by filling tortillas with pork squares and pineapple pieces. Garnish tacos with cilantro, diced onion, and lime wedges. Serve tacos immediately alongside bowls of pico de gallo and guacamole.
1) Pastor Alfonso Hernandez was a itinerant preacher who wandered the Pacific Coast from Seattle to Acapulco. He preached the word of God to whomever would listen. Sometimes he enthralled large crowds. Other times just one person would hear him out. His sermons brought peace beyond understanding to all his listeners.
2) Random acts of kindness would brake out after he left. These people felt grateful for the love he showed them. “Please take some money, your words moved me,” they’d say. He’d always reply, “I can take no money for those aren’t my words. I only borrow them.”
3) The good people would then say, “But you look hungry. Have some food.” The good man accepted their offerings, for he was indeed hungry. Sometimes his listeners gave him ancho chiles. Sometimes he received guajillos chiles. He even accepted garlic cloves. After preaching to an assembly of eight, they might even offer him onion, tomatoes, and cumin.
4) An even larger gathering might present him with Mexican oregano, paprika, pepper, and pepper to spice up his tomatoes. After getting all these spices, the holy man was especially grateful for orange juice to drink. The good people of Ensenada gave him pineapple juice and pork butt. Sometimes, the religious throngs gave him too much to consume at any one time. Whenever this occurred, he’d put the surplus in his coat of many pockets.
5) After ministering to the faithful at Acapulco, the many wealthy Catholics showered him with: diced pineapple, fresh cilantro, small onions, limes, vegetable oil (½ teaspoon at a time), corn tortillas, pico de gallo, and guacamole. This was, too much for any one man to eat. So he shared all the bounty he’d received that day. He then brought forth from all his pockets all the food and spices he’d been accumulating on his travels. “Why,” Pastor Al said, we have enough for a feast of tacos.”
6) “Gracias,” shouted the happy people, “for the tacos from Pastor Al’s coat!” Since the inhabitants of Acapulco were incurable anagramists, this wonderful culinary creation would soon be known forever as Tacos al Pastor.
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