Friday, December 9, 2016

Slow Cooker Al Pastor Tacos with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

Just in case you are wondering what Al Pastor means, it is not the name of a restaurant owner after which the tacos were named after but it stands for tacos in the style of the shepherd (pastor in Spanish).  Here is how Wikipedia explains it,

In the style of the shepherd), also known as tacos al pastor, is a dish developed in Central Mexico, likely as a result of the adoption of the shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by the Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Being derived from shawarma, it is also similar to the Turkish döner kebab and the Greek gyros.
You can read about how it is prepared in the same source.  It is a long and tedious process.  In fact when I was watching the source of this recipe, Guy Fieri,  prepare it on TV, I just told myself I was not going to make the dish.  Just too involved so I thought but then I felt the challenge staring at me and I took it.  I decided I would simplify the preparation and use my trusty slow cooker and so I did.

Guy Fieri marinated the pork first then cooked it in his wood burning stove for several hours at low heat with the fresh pineapple rinds on top to keep the broth from evaporating.  I did not do the latter either.  I used canned pineapple for both the meat and the salsa but you can use the ones from a fresh pineapple. I am a lazy cook. The slow cooker did the marinating and the slow cooking for me conveniently. I dumped the ingredients mostly from the pantry in the slow cooker and went my way to do my chores the Sunday I made it.

Here is my slow cooker adaptation of the Guy Fieri's recipe.  It is actually better the next day after it stood in the fridge overnight. This is a spicy and flavorful dish to serve for your next family gathering.

Slow Cooker Al Pastor Tacos with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

Adapted from Guy Fieri,

  • 2 cups crushed pineapple from a can, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice from bottle
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo plus 1 tsp of its sauce
  • 1/2 onion, chopped roughly
  • 3 lbs pork butt, whole
Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook at low for 6 hours and at high for 3 hours.  I cooked mine in an Aroma Brand rice cooker/slow cooker for 3 hours.

Take out the pork and shred with two forks and return to the slow cooker.  Serve using the materials below.

For serving
  • flour or corn tortillas
  • lime wedges
  • Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa (recipe below)
  • green onions or cilantro 
  • Cotiia cheese was suggested for serving which I did not use but you can.
Place the shredded pork over the tortilla and serve with the lime wedges, salsa and suggested cilantro or green onions and cheese if desired. You can spoon a bit of the broth for more flavor.  Enjoy. Grab a napkin.

Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

  • 2 cups pineapple tidbits from a can, drained
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 2 tbsp minced jalapeno (fresh or from bottle.  If fresh seed it first)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small dry red chile crushed or one fresh one seeded and minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions or cilantro
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and let it sit for about 20 minutes for the flavors to blend.

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