anyone familiar with tacqueria fare in texas has probably enjoyed tacos al pastor at some time or another. when i was in houston, i spent a lot of time hanging out a little hole in the wall that served amazing tortas, tacos and burritos al pastor, for very little money.
they also had these little bowls of pickled vegetables on the tables (alongside the chips and salsa). i have a lifelong hatred of carrots (ok, i think i did like them when i was a baby, my mom can chime in here with a story of how i ate so many that i actually turned orange), but i do like them pickled.
i was browsing pinterest, trying to think of something yummy to cook this week and i stumbled across a recipe for tacos al pastor, using the crockot! i don’t know if my current location is too far north for tacos al pastor, but i haven’t seen it offered at the mexican food restaurants in town.
it took me two trips to the grocery store to gather my materials, but this morning started out with me slicing a pork tenderloin in order to soak it in vinegar for two hours, since this looks like it is going to have a sweet/sour thing going on, i used apple cider vinegar.
while that was going on i boiled two jalapenos in two cups of water to soften. i removed the peppers from the water, and added the pepper water to the crock pot. i took the stems off the peppers and put them in the blender. you can remove the seeds if you don’t like it too spicy. add pineapple juice, one of the onions, the garlic, the can of tomatoes and the seasoning to the blender and mix until smooth.
after blending, put sauce in a large skillet and simmer for ten minutes.
if you are getting the sense that this dish takes a lot of prep before putting everything in the crockpot and walking away, then you are correct.
after simmering the sauce, put half in the crockpot with the pepper water, and put the other half in the fridge for later. drain your pork (that has been soaking in the vinegar) and add to the crockpot. cook on high for 4-6 hours.
when your pork has finished cooking, drain the liquid and shred the pork with two forks. warm the sauce you saved and mix with shredded pork.
serve in warmed (and softened) corn tortillas with chopped onion and cilantro (if you like it). squeeze lime juice liberally over assembled tacos. enjoy!
my pork is still cooking, so i will have to get back with you on whether or not this is worth the trouble! anyone else have a favorite dish from where they grew up?