Thursday, July 18, 2013

Al Pastor Tacos

As my wedding anniversary creeps closer and closer (it's been three years on July 31st), I'm reminded more and more of how insanely awesome my husband is.  Not only is he super smart, sweet, and adorable, but he also makes meals like this for me.  Honestly, the key to my heart is food.

On a side note, there is a very delicious Mexican restaurant within walking distance of our new house.  Consequently...........yeah.  We eat there a lot.  We justify it by the fact that we walk there, so at least we burn off a lot of the calories.  But still........not all of the calories.

So last Friday night I had a feeling we might be making a trip there (it's El Porton, if you are a Memphian), but instead I was surprised with this meal!  All the perks of a Mexican restaurant at home!  Homemade Al Pastor, homemade Mexican rice, and homemade refried beans.  He even bought a six pack of Dos Equis Amber (can't have Mexican food with out a Dos Equis, but maybe that's just me).  This recipe was so good I thought I would share it with you guys here on the blog.  Bonus: it's all done in the crockpot!  Anything that I can throw in a crockpot and forget about for 6 hours gets an A+ in my book.

Some of you may have never had Al Pastor before.  I didn't have it til about 5 years ago.  If you have never tried it, make this recipe.  The savory meat and the sweet pineapple create a flavor-splosion (flavor-splosion?) in your mouth.  And it makes great leftovers.  I'm a sucker for good leftovers.

Al Pastor (adapted from Epicurious by Andrew Olinger)

1/2 of a large onion
1 pineapple, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ancho chile powder
3 garlic cloves, halved
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large or 2 small chipotle chiles and 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
4 pork chops
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place onion and 2 pineapple rounds in a food processor.  Add the next seven ingredients (through chiles and adobo) to the food processor and blend until smooth.  Throw this mixture and pork in the crockpot.  Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours (it's a crockpot, so feel free to cook overnight or while you're at work all day).  Serve with warm corn tortillas, and top with fresh pineapple and fresh cilantro. Don't skip the pineapple.  And don't buy the canned stuff.  Just don't.

Enjoy!  With a Dos Equis Amber of course.

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