Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al pastor is a dish developed in central Mexico that is based on shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico.


Read more here about The Tastes of Mexico


Being derived from shawarma, it is also similar to the Turkish döner kebab and the Greek gyros.

The traditional way to make tacos al pastor is with thin slices of marinated pork piled or layered on top of each other on to a large trompo.

“Trompo” is Spanish for “spinning top.”

Once all of the marinated meat is placed on the trompo, it then spins around in front of an open fire until it is cooked through.

Tacos al Pastor
Tacos al Pastor

When the outer layer of meat is cooked, the taquero or person preparing the tacos cuts off layers of meat so that inner layers can continue to cook as well.

As he cuts the meat, it falls off the trompo in small pieces directly onto the tortilla that the taquero holds with his or her other hand.

Taqero Cutting Meat From a Trompo - tacos al pastor
Taquero Cutting Meat From a Trompo

The taco is then served with finely chopped onions, cilantro, pieces of pineapple and either a red or green salsa.

Marinade For Tacos al Pastor

For some it can be hard to make tacos al pastor the traditional way, and it can be difficult to find a place that serves tacos al pastor cooked up the traditional way as well.

There is no reason though for not trying to replicate the flavors without the use a trompo.

You can use 2 to 3 pounds of a pork tenderloin or a pork shoulder blade cut into small chunks and placed into the following marinade.

  • 4 Guajillo Chile boiled, de-seeded, and cleaned
  • 1 Ancho Chile boiled, de-seeded, and cleaned
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 3/4 cup of pineapple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon each of
  • Oregano – Thyme – Black Pepper
  • Cumin – Paprika – Salt
  • 3 Cloves of garlic
  • Blend all of the ingredients together until completely combined.
  • Strain the liquid over a bowl to end up with a smooth marinade.
  • Add one layer of meat in a large bowl or baking dish and cover with the marinade, and then repeat in layers until all of the meat and marinade have been used.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
  • Remove from the refrigerator and grill the meat until cooked through.
  • Remove from grill and allow to cool a little and cut into thin slices to serve on warmed corn tortillas.

We topped our tacos with a mango and purple onion salsa (made ahead of time).

Peel and pit one medium mango and dice into small pieces and place into a glass bowl.

Next dice into small pieces one small purple onion and place into bowl with the diced mango.

Chop in some cilantro and squeeze the juice of one small lime over mango mixture and mix in.

If you desire add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of salt and mix in. Set salsa aside until ready to top your tacos.

Warm some corn tortillas, add meat and top with mango salsa and enjoy.

How To Prepare Birria de Borrego

 

How To Prepare Birria de BorregoPreparing Birria de Borrego  can be considered a labor of love, as it takes more than three hours to prepare, and it is well worth it.

What is the difference between lamb and beef you may ask? Lamb tends to have less marbling than beef, and when you trim the fat around the edges after cooking, the meat ends up much leaner.

You ask what about the fat? Will to start, even though their are no studies that have linked saturated fat to heart disease or raising your cholesterol, you will be happy to know that how you prepare meat influences its healthiness. Grilling, broiling, and roasting, For example, meat that is grilled, broiled, or roasted tends to reduce fat, were as pan-frying will increase it.

Buying Your Lamb At Market

Organic standards help lower the risk of contaminated feed and organic lamb has higher nutrient quality. But to assure you are truly buying an organic raised animal, make sure that packaging say 100% grass-fed. However, remember that the word “organic” by itself does not guarantee a natural lifestyle for the lambs.

As long as a lamb is fed purely grass from a pasture it can have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Birria de Borrego on a serving platterIn Australia, where lamb is eaten frequently by both children and adults, recent studies have shown lamb to rank among the top omega-3 foods in the daily diet.

Grass-fed lamb has shown to average around 25% more omega-3 than grain fed lamb, including as much as 49% more alpha-linolenic acid.

The World’s Healthiest Foods (WHF) website used their nutritional profile of grass-fed lamb, and found on average that 100% grass fed lamb’s meat to have 40 milligrams of omega-3 per one ounce of roasted lamb loin.

WHF says that’s 50% of omega-3 found in an ounce of baked cod or broiled tuna, and 67% of the amount found in one ounce of sesame seeds.

Our featured recipe is a locally grown 100% grass-fed Birria de Borrego or Roasted Lamb, and here is what you will need.

By the way, if the area were you live doesn’t raise lamb, check out these websites…

www.localharvest.org

www.eatwild.com

They can help you find small local farms in your area, and both sites are searchable by zip code.

Preparing Birria de Borrego

2 pounds lamb roast

Dried Anchos with description6 ancho chilies, dried

3 chilies Negron, dried

1 ½ cups water

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon oregano

2 bay leaves

¼ teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons wine vinegar

2 tablespoons avocado oil

8 tortillas – Link here for homemade recipe

Salsa Verde – optional

Guacamole – optional

Place lamb roast in a large pot with tight lid. Add 1 ½ cups of water, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, vinegar and bay leaves to the pot.

Bring the pot of lamb to a boil. Once the lamb is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and place the lid over the pot. Simmer for two hours until the lamb meat comes off the bone easily with a fork. Remove pot from heat.

Allow to cool some, then remove the lamb from the pot and place on a plate or cutting board. Shred the lamb with a fork and cut with a knife if necessary. Salt to taste and place shredded meat into a large pot.

Cut the stem off the chilies and slit them lengthwise. Remove the seeds and place the chilies in a small saucepan with two cups of water. Bring the chilies to a boil and boil for two minutes or until the chilies are tender. Remove chilies from the water and chop coarsely.

Birria de Borrego - plated

Add the chopped chilies to the lamb and mix thoroughly. Reheat the lamb before serving. Serve on tortillas with salsa or guacamole topped with cilantro. A great meal for your Cino de Mayo celebration this May 5th, 2016.

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Remembering With A BBQ On Memorial Day

Remembering With A BBQ On Memorial Day

In the northern hemisphere summer officially starts the 20th or 21st of June until the first day of the autumn equinox. But for many in the USA Memorial Day kicks off the summer for many, if not for all residence.

History notes that the first Memorial Day June 3, 1861 in Warrenton, Virginia. The first widely-publicized observance of a Memorial Day-type observance after the Civil War, was in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. In that same year, 1865 the federal government began creating national military cemeteries for those who died and were enlisted in the Union Army.

decorating grave site with flowers

May 30th was the official chosen date to celebrate the fallen war veterans, and as the custom was and is to decorate the grave sites with flowers, in 2010 Barack Obama stated that May 30th was selected as an appropriate date to memorialize all who have died while in the armed forces, as it coincides with the time when flowers are in bloom.

Flaming Empty BBQ Grill Many will stay at home, fly or drive to visit loved ones and friends or maybe go to a national park this Memorial Day weekend.

It’s only appropriate to get the grill fired up, as you can’t come together for good conversation and remembering times past without a good plate of food in your hand.

Here at Splendid Recipes and More, we have a few recipe suggestions to BBQ on your grill.

Bacon Wrapped Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken Breast

Bacon Wrapped Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken Breast

This recipe is baked in the oven, but can be BBQ on the grill.

Just heat your grill, closing the lid to contain the heat.

Place the bacon wrapped chicken breast in an aluminum container and place that on the heated grill.

Keep in mind the meat will cook faster on the BBQ grill than in your electric oven.

 BBQ Garlic Lemon Vegetable Platter

BBQ Garlic Lemon Vegetable PlatterIf your planing a trip to the park to BBQ, just cut the vegetables ahead of time at home, as well as prepare the dipping sauce.

 Mediterranean BBQ Chicken

Mediterranean BBQ Chicken and a side of Garlic Lemon Vegetables

 BBQ Beef and Sweet Pepper Fajitas

BBQ Beef and Sweet Pepper Fajitas

You can also make some tacos on the grill with Mexican Marinated Steak Fajitas

Marinated Steak Fajitas

 

If you don’t have a menu planned yet, we hope you enjoy these selections as part of your Memorial Day BBQ? If you have a planned menu for your BBQ, share it with us in the comment section below.

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