A week in western Canadian wine country packed with vineyard touring, tastings and fabulous charcuterie offerings. Trust us to stumble upon a beach shack cantina and return to it within a day or two.
These al pastor tacos were perfect both times. Pork coated by a combination of dried chilies, spices and pineapple, then crisped almost like bacon with just-grilled white onion (maybe the effects from a quick trip under the broiler – look how crunchy!). Supple yet crunchy corn tortillas delivered the goods topped with lashings of thin sour cream and avocado sauce.
We’ve often pined to try making al pastor at home, but balked at the difficulty: we are not rotisserie-type people.
But huzzzah: here’s a cheat that looks uncompromising. A thick chili coating on sliced pork threaded onto skewers, resting on a bed of pineapple to slow cook for two to three hours in the oven. We are that kind of people!
The trick is slicing the meat as thinly into pieces about 3 inches by 3-inches, and ¼-inch thick. Thread onto two parallel skewers to hold in place, packing tightly so there are no gaps. (you’ll have enough to make three rows using six skewers.) Then it goes into a 250 degree oven for two to three hours.
Sounds as uncomplicated and delicious as our favourite carnitas recipe.
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 dried guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 dried avocado leaves (no idea if we can find these)
1/4 cup achiote paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
12 corn tortillas, warmed