The adventures in cooking never end! I watched a Tasty video of an oven roasted pork al pastor tower a few months ago. I knew that I would try and recreate it in my own kitchen as soon as I could! I already have a delicious stove top version of al pastor on my blog, but this was so intriguing. A miniature version of a trompo packed with tasty pork al pastor meat for tacos, right out of my oven!
Now here is where the plot took a big turn! I went into this fully confident that this was going to be delicious. I printed my recipe for al pastor so that I could prepare the marinade(recado) for the pork. Everything was perfect. Just enough meat. The tower of marinated pork looked beautiful! After letting the meat rest for a bit, I begin to slice it. So far, so good. Then I noticed the texture of the meat in the center. Chalky! Broken down. Did not like the texture! After a quick search on google, I found my answer. Fresh pineapple was my bad move! The fresh pineapple blended into the sauce broke down the meat too much and gave it a chalky(mushy) texture. The flavor was on point, but I couldn’t get past the texture.
The google search also said that using canned pineapple would be fine to use. I have used this same recipe for my stove top version of al pastor with no problem. The difference was that I did not marinate the meat. I sear the meat and then add in the sauce(recado) and it cooks up beautifully as you can see if you click onto the link below. I would still suggest that you slice and sear the meat after you roast it. Because the best part of al pastor are those slightly charred parts on the exterior of the trompo. I am going to try this recipe again, but without any pineapple in the marinade. And I would love to cook it on my grill! I will update the post when I do! #foodieforlife #mexicanfood
Oven Roasted Pork Al Pastor
1 tablespoon achiote paste
2 chile ancho
2 chipotles in adobo
1/4 of a medium white onion, reserve the rest
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons knorr chicken bouillon powder
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
*salt and pepper, to taste
Tip~ If you like, you could drizzle in some oil while the marinade blends. This will help the marinade and will come together better.
You will Also Need
2 pounds pork steaks(boneless)
Chile ancho powder
4 ten inch wooden skewers
3 thick slices of fresh pineapple
Remaining white onion
cast iron pan
Remove the stems and seeds from the chile ancho and soften them in a pot of simmering water for 10 minutes. Transfer all of the ingredients for the marinade in the blender. Blend on high until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. Taste for salt.
Slice the pork steaks into uniform pieces, about 3 inches wide. Using a meat mallet, flatten them slightly, so they are all even. Season lightly with salt, pepper and chile ancho powder on both sides. Transfer to heavy plastic storage bag and pour in the marinade. Marinate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using four wooden skewers, skewer 2 flat pieces of pineapple to keep skewer upright in the center of the cast iron pan. Add marinated pork, layering as even as possible so the pork stays upright on the skewers. Finish by adding the last slice of pineapple on top.
To the bottom of iron skillet, add chopped onion, whole jalapeños and a little water. Carefully transfer to the oven. Roast for 1 hour, 40 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking time.
Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes. Slice pork desired and sear in a little hot oil before assembling tacos. Chop cooked pineapple and transfer to a serving bowl. Discard the cooked onions. Transfer the whole jalapeños to a small plate . Serve with warm tortillas, pineapple, cilantro, diced onion, lime and your favorite salsa.
It only shows three skewers, but I ended up adding a fourth one. I would suggest covering the top with foil, just enough to cover the pineapple slice. I started to add some onion, but probably would not do that next time. It made the tower a bit uneven.
This was the next day. Cooked some blue corn tortillas with a little bit of oil. Fill with meat and fold over when soft enough. Continue cooking until crispy on both sides.
Garnish with pineapple, cilantro, salsa and pickled red onions.