I’ve been a bit obsessed with Mexico City recently following a trip in November. It’s pretty fantastic (if you can handle the smog and speak at least a bit of Spanish) – great art, great culture, amazing food, etc. – I’m going back this month. But in the meantime, back up here in the cold, I wanted to bring myself back to a bit of a warmer state of mind, and what better excuse to use everyone’s favorite winter warmer, the slow cooker?
So I decided to try a spin on a DF classic – al pastor. So I polled a couple Mexican friends (ok, exactly two) for a recipe, and combining them got a semi-coherent list of ingredients
with vague proportions. But it sounded good, and I’m not big on precise measurements anyhow. Also note that al pastor is generally defined by use of the guajillo chili, which I didn’t
have handy. I used chipotle. I also had no pineapple juice, so that got mucked about a bit, and obviously I slow-cooked instead or spit-grilling.
You read the title, right?
I also added the onion because I thought it seemed right. It was.
- 2lbs pork butt country ribs, separated and stabbed repeatedly
- 1/2 yellow onion, quartered
- 11 oz cubed fresh pineapple
- 2 tbs achiote (anatto) seed, ground
- 2 tbs ground chipotle
- 1 tbs garlic powder
- 1 tbs oregano
- 1 tbs cumin
- 1 tbs salt
- 1 tbs pepper
- 1c cider vinegar
- 3/4c water
- 1 tbs agave nectar
Preparation is wonderfully simple: put all the ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover and marinate overnight. In the morning before leaving for work, I poured everything into my trusty slow cooker, and set it on low for 9.5 hours (its longest setting, just because it’s not like I was getting home in less than 11) . I arrived home that evening to a gorgeous aroma from the pot, now happily keeping things warm, from which I heaped lovely, fall-apart tender pork. It was truly delicious alone, but over some rice (I suspect hominy would be good too) it was really awesome.
The cooked marinade, by the way, is a keeper: this may become a go-to barbecue sauce for me: transfer it to a saucepan and let reduce. Thicken with cornstarch or flour, and toss the pork back in, you could make tacos. I’m just sayin’.