Tuesday, September 9, 2014

PALEO PORK AL PASTOR aka SLOW COOKER PINEAPPLE ANCHO CHILE PORK TACOS


I love slow cooked pork. I make a mean BBQ pulled pork (link), but have always wanted to make a Mexican Tacos Al-Pastor. This recipe is inspired by the Tacos Al Pastor at Takoba in East Austin. The pineapple-ancho chile braised pork makes fantastic tacos. Sprinkled with a little sweet pineapple, creamy avocado and wrapped in a crunchy lettuce cup, it was a sensory delight that tasted divine. This recipe makes a lot, so if you have leftovers, you can make omelets or top a salad with it.  Or you could use it as a filling for my favorite Enchiladas (see my semi-homemade recipe here). It freezes well, so you can divide into smaller containers to take with you to work or school! There is a lot you can do with this recipe. 

Start with a beautiful  3 lb Pork Butt (Shoulder) Roast
Paleo Pork al Pastor
serves 8

3 pounds, bone-in pork butt
5 dried ancho chiles
1 cup boiling water
1 onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 medium tomato, quartered
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped (or 4 cups cubed), divided
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 head butter lettuce
1 avocado

Remove the bone and shred the pork into the sauce. 
Place the dried chiles in a coffee cup and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Let steep for 5-10 minutes. Remove the stems from the chiles. Add the chiles and the steeping water to a blender. Add the onion, garlic, tomato, 1/2 of the pineapple (2 cups), lime juice, 1/2 cup cilantro, oregano, cumin and salt to the blender. PureĆ© until smooth. Add the pork to the bottom of a slow cooker. Cover the pork with the blended mixture. Cook over high for 1 hour, then turn to low for 6 more hours, until the pork is falling apart. When the pork is done, remove the shoulder bone and shred the meat, stirring it into the sauce in the slow cooker. Serve pork in lettuce cups. Garnish with cilantro, the rest of the pineapple and sliced avocado. 

Pour the mixture over the whole pork butt in your slow cooker
 Garnish with whatever taco toppings you like: guacamole, salsa, cilantro, etc. In true "three diets, one dinner" fashion, you can always serve this to your non-paleo crew with shredded cheese and tortillas. This pork would make a great nacho topping as well! 

Whatever you do, definitely serve with little chunks of fresh pineapple. The little burst of sweetness really brings out the flavor of the marinade. 

Song of the Day: La Mar by the Beautiful Girls

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