One of the highlights of the Tacos After Dark Tour is Las Güeras:
Slices of pork are layered on a spit, or trompo, and spun slowly adjacent to fiery coals, gas flame, or in the case of Las Güeras, chopped wood, giving each taco a smoky and distinctive flavor.
The cooking style ensures that you’re getting scrumptious slices of slightly charred carmelized meat–we dare you to only eat one taco!
Tacos al Pastor is yet another infusion from other cultures into the Mexican food scene. The vertical grilling spit is a traditional style of cooking meat in Middle Eastern cuisine. Just look at the internationally popular gyros and shawarma!
The large Lebanese immigration to Mexico in the early part of the 20th century influenced culture immensely. Even Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men, is of Lebanese decent.
RAFAEL’S TACOS AL PASTOR
1- large white onion, halved
1 -pineapple, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (core discarded, cut half of the rounds into cubes)—reserve ½ of pineapple for grilling
1/2 -cup fresh orange juice
1/4 -cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 -cup guajillo chile powder*
3 -garlic cloves, halved
2 -teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 -teaspoon dried oregano
1 -teaspoon ground cumin
50 -grams of achiote*
3-pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 -handful of wood chips (for oven baked version only) soaked in water for 20 minutes.
1/4 -cup chopped fresh cilantro.
In a blender place ½ of coarsely chopped onion, pineapple, orange juice, vinegar, guajillo chile powder, garlic cloves, kosher salt, dried oregano, ground cumin and puree marinade until smooth.
Place pork in large reseal able plastic bag. Add marinade and release excess air from bag. Turn to coat. Chill at least 4 hours to full day 1 day.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill remaining pineapple until warm and slightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Grill pork and brush with some marinade until slightly charred and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF once hot, place aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven and cover the foil with wood chips the wood chips. Bake the pork until it reaches 155ºF, turn the pork to char all sides. Wood chips will create a lot of smoke, open windows to vent the kitchen.
Transfer pineapple and pork to work surface; chop pineapple into 1/2-inch cubes, discarding cores. Chop pork. Toss pork and pineapple together on a platter to combine.
Finely chop remaining onion half and place in medium bowl. Add cilantro; toss to combine.
Grill tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 10 seconds per side.
Top tacos with onion and cilantro mix and your favorite salsa, and enjoy!
* Note: you can find these ingredients in the latin foods section of your grocery store or online at stores like Amazon.