Happy September! For those of you that may not know me, September is my absolute favorite month. And not just because it's my birth month. The month of September is also a pretty big deal here in Mexico because it's Mes Patrio (Patriotic month). In my small town we celebrate the entire month of September with a big county fair that we call Las Fiestas. The celebration is separated into two parts. The first half of the month we celebrate Las Fiestas Patrias in honor of Dia de la Independencia (Mexican Independence Day). The second half of September is dedicated to Las Fiestas Patronales, which is a big religious celebration in honor of our town's patron saint.
Here at La Cocina de Leslie we will also be celebrating! What better way to kick off this month long celebration than with a delicious recipe for saucy pork tacos...Dallas Gas Station Style, which turned out to be very similar to Tacos de Adobada or Tacos al Pastor.
The recipe for these tacos is from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain, who also has a blog by the same name. An elite group of bloggers, myself included, have received or will be receiving an advanced copy of the book and will be participating in a Spotlight/Cook-Off for the next couple of weeks hosted by my good friend, Girlichef. (Click here for details and the complete list of bloggers participating in the Spotlight/Cook-Off.)
Now, about the recipe. I'm usually pretty good about following recipe to a "T", but this wasn't one of those times. The recipe calls for the meat to be marinated for at least 8 hours before cooking, but I was worried that the meat wouldn't be tender enough. So, I treated this recipe as if it were a Chilito de Carne de Puerco and cooked the meat before adding the marinade/adobo sauce. I also added some of the spices to the cooking water to enhance the flavor of the meat.
The adobo sauce was easy to put together. Instead of using pasilla chilies, I used dried ancho chilies (my favorite). And because I misplaced my bottle of white vinegar somewhere in the process, I substituted it with a little vinagre from my canned jalapeños.
Ay. Dios. Mio!!! I have found a new family favorite recipe. The adobo (marinade) is smoky, spicy and so full of flavor. This is a great recipe if you're looking to make Tacos de Adobada. But I couldn't resist turning this up just another notch, so I added a can of crushed pineapple and ended up with the most delicious homemade Tacos al Pastor. Estan pa' chuparse los dedos! (Finger lickin' good!)
Pork Tacos - Dallas Gas Station Style
(adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain)
- 2 pounds pork shoulder (lomo de cerdo), cut in 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic
- Cloves (clavos de olor) or ground cloves
- Cumin seeds or ground cumin
- 4 dried Ancho Chilies
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup orange juice (I used tangerine)
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar or vinagre de jalapeño
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons lard (manteca) or vegetable oil
- 1 medium can crushed pineapple, drained
- Corn Tortillas
- Red Onion, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Cilantro, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Lime Wedges (for garnish)
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the pork shoulder with two of the garlic cloves, 2 or 3 cloves and a pinch of cumin seeds; season with salt. Fill the saucepan with just enough water to cover the meat. Cover and bring the meat to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer about 90 minutes or until the pork meat is tender.
*For Homemade Tacos de Adobada: Omit the fruit juices and the can of crushed pineapple.
**This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*