Sometimes you just get lucky.
I had been planning to make smoked al pastor for a while now but just haven't gotten around to it. Unless it's a nice juicy brisket, I don't get overly excited putting in work the night before a smoke. And I have discovered pork is best enjoyed prepared well in advance.
Al pastor is no different.
Typically made on a spit and slow roasted, you would cut off the cooked pork as it got done as it is ordered. I am a big guy, but I don't think I can eat 10 pounds of pork in a day, or have the patience to sit there and carve away at it. So, you basically only really eat al pastor somewhere that specializes in it here in the states.
However, I have been seeing a lot of guys smoking it and getting pretty great results. The only drawback is you get a finite amount of the chard bits before it's just well-seasoned smoked pork.
Bummer… (Insert sarcasm here).
The most tedious part of making al pastor is cutting and arranging the slices into a sort of meat tower. I admit I got a bit lazy in some spots and had pretty good sized chunks when they should all be as uniform to a quarter inch as possible. It turned out great though.
If you have a smoker, and the patience to make it, al pastor is a great Sunday game day treat for you and your guests.
You might even become famous for it, and odds are it will be the first time some people have ever had it.
Smoked tacos al pastor
Bone-in pork shoulder or butt
Al pastor rub found in most spice isles
1. The night before, slice the pork into quarter-inch strips and place into a large bowl.
2. Cut and core the pineapple into rings and place half of it into a blender, leaving the other half for the morning. Make the rings about a ½ thick while leaving one about an inch thick to use as your base. Add half of the rub to the pineapple and blend until smooth.
3. Cover the pork with the marinade and cover all pieces. Cover and rest in the fridge overnight.
4. Set your smoker to 250 degrees and use a lighter wood like apple or cherry.
5. Using the thicker pineapple ring, guide four skewers through the bottom until they reach the base of the skewers, making a stable base for the tower.
6. Slowly add on layers of marinated pork, adding a pineapple ring every few inches.
7. Here is the tricky part. Make sure it stands up during the smoke. I was able to arrange the grates in my smoker to hold up the skewers at the top so it wouldn't topple over. If you find another way to do this, let me know.
8. Smoke for 3-4 hours until the outside is crisp and the internal temp is around 185.
9. Add to your favorite tortillas with cabbage, queso fresco and any sauces you love.