Sweet, spicy, and tangy, this Slow Cooker Pork al Pastor has unique flavors. If you want something different for taco night, whip up some of this amazing pork.
I keep hearing about these tacos al pastor. Have you heard about them? I hadn’t until recently. No. I’m not really a taco person. Don’t get me wrong; I love a good taco, but I don’t go to a lot of Latin American restaurants to eat tacos. And I don’t go to food trucks to eat tacos. I haven’t even been to District Taco even they’re just up the street from work. I just don’t.
And since I have never been to a place where tacos al pastor were on the menu they’ve never been on my radar to make. That is until now. Because, well, I love a good food mystery and for me, this was a food mystery. What are they? How do you make them? What flavors are in there? Where did they come from? You see where I’m going with this?
So, typical me, I started to do my research. Compiling the ingredients, selecting the flavors that I liked and, well, I liked pretty much all the ingredients. Except this achiote paste. I didn’t know what it was and I wasn’t sure I could get it. I knew it was made with annato seeds. I also knew that it’s pretty essential to some Latin American cooking. I’ve had annato seeds before, but I haven’t really used them much. This time I did.
Annato seeds have an aroma that doesn’t smell like anything I’ve ever experienced before. Granted, I’m not well versed in the ways of traditional Latin American cooking, but I’d like to think that I have decent knowledge of herbs and spices. A substitute? Not sure. I think I read online that you could make a similar paste with paprika? But this stuff doesn’t smell like paprika. At all. It’s like a – well, I just can’t explain it. If you can’t find any, let me know and I’ll mail ya some.
For me, I don’t think I could have made tacos al pastor without it. It’s the flavor that is prevalent in the pork. Then there’s the sweet of the pineapple, the spicy of the chipotle, the punch from the garlic and onions, and that lovely aromatic oregano. The hubs just doesn’t believe in oregano in Latin American cooking. He just think it’s an Italian herb. Little does he know…
All of these ingredients truly made for interesting tacos. There are so many complimentary and competing ingredients, that it’s really difficult not to enjoy every last bite of this tender and juicy pork. Thankfully, there was a large roast in the freezer, so I can have them again this week if I wanted to. Tomorrow, probably. You’ll find out why in a few posts.
Have you made or even had tacos al pastor?
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple in juice
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoons pepper
- 2 tablespoons annato seeds, ground
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 pound pork roast
- Combine the first twelve ingredients (chipotles through oregano) in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the ingredients in a zip top plastic bag and add the pork. Marinate the meat for at least one hour or overnight for best flavor.
- Place the contents of te zip top platic bag in the liner of a slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or until the pork is tender and shreds easily. Remove the pork from the slow cooker, shred with two forks, and return to the slow cooker.
- Serve the pork as tacos, taco bowl, enchiladas, with pasta, on toast, straight out of the slow cooker; however you like.