tacos al pastor

Our local Hispanic supermarket, Cardenas, sells marinated pastor meat in their full-service meat counter. It’s really quite good. We don’t buy it very often, however. Cardenas is on the other side of the valley, the meat department is unbelievably busy (you always have to take a number and wait), and I’m not entirely sure how much they like gringos.

Recently on The Kitchen Terry and I saw Jeff Mauro make tacos al pastor. It was a rather complicated recipe that involved marinating the meat, packing it in a tall deli container overnight, removing it, putting pineapple slices on either end, and running skewers through it to create an ersatz spit. It then involved cooking the meat with wood chips in the grill.

tacos a lpastorI simplified this a great deal. I marinated flap meat overnight, cut it into pieces, and cooked it in our cast iron skillet. I was going to grill it outside but that particular day we were affected by smoke from a fire in the region.

This is all about the marinade. The marinade includes adobo sauce, ancho chile powder, canola oil, achiote paste, brown sugar, kosher salt, cumin, and garlic. I actually followed the ingredients quite closely. I even included the salt for a change. I did use safflower oil rather than canola oil. I gave the meat twenty-four hours to marinate. The result was unbelievably, amazingly, delicious, although nothing at all like the Cardenas pastor meat.

And it really wasn’t all that much work, just the time to prepare the marinade. It made for quite the weeknight dinner.

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