Traditionally al Pastor is pork which is marinated in chillies then spit roasted with pineapple and onion to help tenderize the meat. The result is a rich pork taco which is wonderful when it’s sweetness is cut by the sharpness of onions and fresh lime juice.
Despite the traditional method, this recipe is easily adapted to the home cook via a braise. I actually like making this when pork is on sale and then freezing it after cooking; it only gets better and then you have a fabulous dinner for a rushed evening.
Tacos al Pastor Recipe(serves 4)
1. Boil some water. Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over the dried pepper and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove seeds and stem from pepper and discard.
2. Place pepper flesh into a blender or food processor along with pineapple, orange juice, garlic, onion and vinegar. Pulse until well combined and set aside.
3. Combine the oregano and chipotle powder on a plate with lots of salt and pepper. Pat the roast dry and roll in the spices.
4. Preheat oven to 300F and a dutch oven to medium high heat.
5. Add the vegetable oil and brown the pork on all sides. Pour in the sauce and nestle the pork in around it. Bring to a simmer. Add the cinnamon and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2-3 hours, turning meat occasionally. It is done when the meat is soft enough to easily shred with a fork - but don't forget to remove the cinnamon. (This is also the point where you can freeze or refrigerate and reheat later.)
6. Serve on tortillas with thinly sliced onions, spicy verde sauce, and fresh cilantro.