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Authentic Tacos al Pastor are delicious but a bit fattening, since they’re made with pork shoulder. I made a healthier version with lean pork tenderloin with all of the flavor but a lot less fat. Enjoy!
De-stem and de-seed the chili peppers. Put the chilis in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and remove the saucepan from the heat. Let the chilis steep in the hot water for about 25 minutes.
While the chilis are steeping, prepare the other marinade ingredients and add them to a bowl. This includes roughly cutting up the onion, garlic, and pineapple as well as measuring out the other ingredients for the marinade.
When the chilis have steeped for about 25 minutes, remove the chilis from the water and add the chilis to a blender. Add about 1/2 cup of the steeping water to the blender as well to make it easier to puree the chilis. Discard the remaining steeping water. Fully puree the chilis. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the pureed chilis into a large bowl, pushing and scraping the chilis through the strainer. Discard the skins and solids that will not go through the strainer.
Add the remaining marinade ingredients to the blender and completely puree. Add the puree to the bowl with the strained chilis (no need to strain the other ingredients). Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Remove the pork tenderloin from the package and dry it well with paper towels. Remove all excess fat and silver skin. Cut the tenderloin lengthwise into 4 long pieces. Pour a little of the chilled marinade to coat the bottom of a 9×13″ glass dish. Add the meat to the glass dish and cover with the remaining marinade. Make sure all of the pieces are full coated in the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for about 1 1/2 hours. Do not marinate longer than 1 1/2 hours or the enzymes in the pineapple will start breaking down the meat.
About 20 minutes before the meat has finished marinating, take the meat out of the refrigerator to take the chill off. Start preheating your oven at 425F. Cover a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil then place an oven-safe rack in the sheet pan.
When the pork has finished marinating, place the pork on the rack. Make sure the top of the pork has a nice, even layer of the marinade (discard any remaining marinade left in the glass dish). Place the sheet pan in the oven and pour about 1 cup of water into the sheet pan. Bake the pork for roughly 25 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork has reached 160F. The cooking time is only a rough guide. Tent the pork and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
Cut the pork into small, bite-size pieces. At this point, the meat may be refrigerated and the meat will taste even better the next day. This is especially nice if you are having a dinner party because you can cook the meat the day before.
To make the tacos, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add a single layer of meat to the skillet (don’t overcrowd the meat). Don’t move the meat because you want to develop a nice, brown sear on one side. Once seared, serve on warmed tortillas with an assortment of toppings. This preparation has significantly less fat than when prepared with traditional pork shoulder, so eat it without the guilt.
For an accompanying story, check out http://cookingventures.blogspot.com
Cornish hens with a garlic butter crust, smothered in lemon and rosemary!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!