Lunchbreak: Chef Shannon Bard makes tacos al pastor

Midday News
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Shannon Bard

Zapoteca Restaurante Y Tequileria
505 Fore Street
Portland, Maine

To purchase a copy of the book:

The Gourmet Mexican Kitchen - A Cookbook: Bold Flavors For the Home Chef

Tacos al Pastor

1/2 cup orange juice, fresh
10 dried guajillo chiles, seeded, stemmed, dry roasted and rehydrated
5 dried ancho chiles, seeded, stemmed, dry roasted and rehydrated
5 dried pasilla chiles, seeded, stemmed, dry roasted and rehydrated
grated zest of 1 orange
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp toasted oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp lime juice, fresh
3 oz cola
1 (3–4 lb) boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2" pieces

Fresh or good quality store-bought corn tortillas
1 lime, cut into wedges

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, simmer the orange juice over medium-low heat for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add the reduced orange juice to a blender along with the rehydrated chiles, orange zest, brown sugar, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, vinegar, lime juice and cola. Puree until extremely smooth. Pour the mixture into a baking dish, place the pork in the marinade and turn to ensure that each piece is thoroughly coated. Cover and chill for a minimum of 4 hours, and up to 1 day. Remove the pork slices from the marinade and place on the preheated grill. Cook for 2–3 minutes until slightly charred. Turn over and grill the other side for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and roughly chop. Grill the tortillas for approximately 30 seconds per side, until warm and slightly charred. Top each tortilla with a large spoonful of grilled pork, a tablespoon (10 g) of pineapple salsa and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Note: The original taco al pastor originated in the state of Pueblo and is Mexico’s rendition of the Arabic shawarma, introduced by Lebanese immigrants in the 1960s. Today throughout the streets of Mexico you can see large iron rods stacked with meat roasting, ready to be made into delicious tacos. My version, luckily, does not call for stacking the meat on an iron rod and roasting for hours, but it is still essential that you marinate the pork for a minimum of 4 hours.

Pineapple Habanero Salsa

3 lb fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4" thick rings
1 habanero chile, dry roasted, seeded and finely diced
1 sweet red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced
1 Tbs cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbs lime juice, fresh

Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Place the pineapple on the grill and cook until lightly charred on both sides. Remove the pineapple from the heat and dice into small 1/4-inch pieces. Place the diced pineapple in a large bowl and gently stir in the habanero chile, bell pepper, cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.


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