'If Mexico City has a signature dish it’s definitely tacos al pastor. The rotisserie method means that the outer layer of crispy pork is mixed with the softer layer within and, together with the deep chilli heat and a wedge of grilled pineapple, it is insanely good. One of those iconic street food dishes. The only question is, how do you recreate this at home?'
Extract from Taco Loco: Mexican street food from scratch by Jonas Cramby, published by Pavilion Books. Photography by Calle Stoltz.
For Tacos al Pastor Serves: 6
- 1–1.5kg/2lb 4oz–3lb 5oz pork collar, preferably high fat
- 140g/5oz bacon
- 1 pineapple
For the Adobo salsa:
For the Salsa Verde Tomatillo Salsa
- chopped coriander (cilantro) and white onion
- lime wedges
Method for the Tacos al Pastor
- Start by making the adobo. Toast the dried chillies in a dry, medium-hot frying pan until they puff up and smell lovely. Remove the seeds and stalks and soak the chilli in pineapple juice and vinegar for 15 minutes. Blend with the rest of the adobo ingredients to a smooth paste.
- Slice the pork as thinly as possible against the meat fibres. Bash the slices out with a frying pan or similar so that they are really thin. Think schnitzel. Dip the meat into the adobo and layer with the bacon in a square ovenproof dish. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap). Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Roast the meat in the middle of the oven for about 3 hours. Leave to cool, then chuck the whole thing into the refrigerator for a couple of hours, preferably a whole day. This is to allow the fat to set so that it’s easier to slice thinly. You can prepare up until this point for a dinner party or other occasion.
- When dinner time is approaching, preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/gas 6. Peel then slice the pineapple into 4 wedges, remove the core and roast the pieces for 20 minutes. Turn the brick-shaped piece of set meat out onto a chopping board. Slice the meat very thinly, then fry in a frying pan over a high heat until crisp, using the fat as well. Season to taste with salt.
- Serve in a tortilla together with thinly sliced pineapple.
For the salsa
- Blend to a smooth salsa. Season to taste with salt and chilli. If you’re using physalis, you might need to add a squeeze of lime.