Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tacos al Pastor

It is that time of year again.  The temperature is getting lower and leaves are starting to turn amber.  My crockpot has been sitting patiently in the pantry for months.  Patience should be rewarded...

We had some friends over for a low-key weeknight dinner, we did a Tex-Mex theme.  I supplied tacos and salad.  My friends brought chips with guacamole and a Margarita pie.  I wanted to sneak a run in before they arrived, which meant dinner had to be pretty much done by the time I got home from work.  This recipe for shredded pork was just the ticket.  It went together in maybe 10 minutes before I left for the day and it was ready when I walked back in the door that night.

A pork loin is a great cut of meat for the crockpot.  It is lean but has some marbling on the outside to keep everything from drying out.  It is also super easy to remove the excess fat before serving.

For this dish, I used a combination of peppers and spices.  In my opinion, slow cooking is best when you have a number of different flavor notes.  It helps to add complexity to the dish.

In traditional fashion to Tacos al Pastor, we used corn tortillas and topped each taco with diced pineapple.

Tacos al Pastor

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 poblano peppers, thinly sliced
1 Serrano pepper, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS of cumin
1 tsp of dried oregano
1/2 tsp of salt and pepper
1 TBS of tomato paste
14oz can of diced tomatoes (low sodium)
3lb pork loin
12 corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup of diced pineapple

Combine the peppers, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes in the crockpot.  Place the pork loin in the center and make sure it is covered well with the mixture.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Once on the warm setting, uncover the crockpot and remove the excess fat from the pork loin.  Shred the pork using two forks.  Leave the crockpot on warm, uncovered for another 15-10 minutes (if you can wait).  Place about 1/2-3/4 cup of filling in each taco shell then top with 1-2 TBS of pineapple.  Enjoy!


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