tacos al pastor

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.

photo courtesy of stirringupmemoriescookbooks.com

photo courtesy of stirringupmemoriescookbooks.com

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.

1 1/2 lb pork loin meat, cut into striplike pieces
1 C. white vinegar
2 jalapeno or serrano chile peppers
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 medium white onions, finely diced, divided
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pkg Mexican Grill Seasoning (red)
1 C. pineapple juice

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.

IMG_4917while 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.

IMG_4916i did not locate mexican grill seasoning, but i did find this bottle of spice that is “porky’s favorite.”  so i used this, plus two chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce).

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.

IMG_4918now wash the eight million dishes you just got dirty.  phew!

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?

About phrogmom

kind of eccentric artsy type raising two boys in texas.
This entry was posted in cooking and food and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to tacos al pastor

  1. Narelle Smith says:

    How was it?

    I have many food intolerances, and vinegar is one of them. Do you think it would taste ok without the vinegar?

    It is a bit of prep and you cook it for up to 6 hours! I don’t have a crockpot, so would I have to cook it for longer?

    Love the photo of the pile of washing-up.

    • phrogmom says:

      If you follow the link there are directions for roasting in the oven! I’ll bet that would be yummy too. What about soaking the pork in lemon or lime juice instead of vinegar? I think that would accomplish the same thing. It was yummy! I have pics for my part 2 🙂

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