Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pulled Pork Al Pastor Style


Heyo! I did not die or somehow got eliminated from the face of the earth! I was just having way too much fun to cook anything decent. That, and I also made a bunch of culinary flops not worth sharing. But now I'm back and hopefully to stay. Let's see if I can get my creative juices flowing and cooking again.

A quick back story of why this is "Pulled Pork Al Pastor Style" and not just "Pulled Pork" or "Al Pastor Taco": the boyfriend really likes al pastor tacos but we're trying to eat less carbs because we are getting fat. So I can't make al pastor tacos, I decided to make the al pastor meat anyway but instead of chopping it up in cubes and fry them, I'd just make it pulled pork. I'm a genius, I know.

I used Marc Matsumoto's al pastor recipe for this.

I didn't have achiote paste so I did what my mom would do, I cooked about 1 teaspoon of achiote seeds in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I wasn't being very careful with the heat so the achiote seeds popped and flew everywhere! Anyway, when it was done boiling, I fished out the seeds and threw them away while keeping the achiote flavored oil.

I got 2 anchos and 2 guajillo chilies into hot water to remove the seeds and stems. They smelled delicious.

1/4 of an onion just sliced roughly and 8 cloves of garlic because I'm crazy about garlic. I didn't bother to chop up the garlics because they were going to get mashed in the blender anyway.

Blender party right here!
Cast of Characters:
- Achiote flavored oil
- 2 anchos chilies
- 2 guajillo chilies
- 1/4 onion
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 3 slices of canned pineapple - 2 chipotle chilies with 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce in the same can
- 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon oregano

Everything got blended into thick paste. The original recipe used fresh pineapples so he did some cooking after this. However, I was using canned pineapple so I didn't cook the paste.

I got 2 pounds of pork shoulder sliced into 1" pieces and 2 pieces of small chicken thighs.

I threw the meat and the marinade into a large gallon sized bag, removed all the air, and massaged the meat a bit to make sure that all meat surfaces have a chance to meet the marinade. Then I left the whole bag in the fridge for 24 hours.

After 24 hours of swimming in the delicious marinade, I cooked them per Marc's instructions: 450F for 30 minutes and then 300F for 3 hours in a dutch oven. Then I asked the boyfriend to shred them for me.

We ate the pork with some guacamole and had a ton of leftovers for lunch the next day. I just ate the leftover pork with sliced avocado, cilantro, and lime to make it pretty.

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