In Mexico, eating street food is a way of life and Tacos al Pastor is one of the classics. Taco stalls are iconic and populate the side streets and markets of every Mexican town serving delicious soft corn tacos with a distinctive flavour.
For the pork:
2kg Pork belly, skinless and cut into 1’’ slices
50g Achiote paste
5 x Whole guajillo chillies, seeds removed
4 x Whole pasilla chillies, seeds removed
100ml Cider vinegar
75ml Pineapple juice
½ White onion, peeled and roughly chopped
6 Cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2tsp Dried Mexican oregano
2tsp Sea salt
1tsp Ground cumin
You will also need:
1 x Pack Komali Taqueria Tortillas (Corn Tacos)
3 x Medium red onions
3 Limes (2 cut into wedges)
Bunch of Fresh Coriander, chopped
Your favourite salsa
A little extra salt
1. Start by removing the seeds and stalks from the dried chillies and tearing them up into rough pieces. Heat a dry frying pan and toast the chillies for 30 seconds, until they have warmed through. Remove to a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, start preparing the rest of the marinade ingredients and, once the chillies have soaked put everything in a blender and blitz to a smooth paste. Pour this marinade over the pork, making sure each piece is well coated and leave for as long as possible - at least a couple of hours but overnight is best.
3. When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 180°C and arrange the pork slices in a roasting tray, tipping all the marinade in as well. Cook the pork, uncovered, for an hour and a half, turning the pieces over every 20 minutes or so. The aim is for your pork to be lovely and tender, if it looks to be getting a little too dry, cover with some foil.
4. Meanwhile make your ‘quick pickled onions’ by slicing up the red onions, sprinkling over a couple of pinches of salt and the juice from 1 lime. Toss everything together and leave for 10 minutes.
5. Once the pork is cooked and nice and tender, remove it from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Then dice the pork into small pieces, around 1cm square and mix it back through the cooking and marinade juices. Traditional tacos al pastor are cooked in a rotisserie grill so to recreate this effect you can either place the diced pork under a grill to brown or you can fry the pieces in a pan over a high heat.
6. Cook the tacos on a medium to high heat in a dry pan for 30 seconds on each side (you can do this ahead of time and keep them in a taco warmer, nobody likes cold tacos!). Pile on some pork, top with pickled red onions, your favourite salsa, some fresh coriander and most importantly, a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
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I keep reaching for our delicious Pickled Lemon Paste. It's intense lemon flavour provides a great lift to so many dishes...
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