There are few things I love more than a really good taco. Seeing how I do not yet have a really good taco recipe, I decided to test a recipe for slow cooker tacos al pastor.
This meal started super easy. Rather than use a pork shoulder roast, I used a pork tenderloin because it had less fat (also, it was what my dad bought for me). I also only made a half recipe; a full recipe would be way to much for my family and I. After placing the meat in the slow cooker I made the sauce by placing all the ingredients in a blender and blending them, then mixing in the beer. This also made cleanup very easy.
I then poured the sauce over the meat, set the timer for 9 hours, and waited.
After 9 hours it was time to shred the meat. This was very easy to do, which was surprising because I have always had trouble shredding meat. I then assembled the tacos and it was done!
As for the taste, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. The taco meat smelled so good cooking, but tasted kind of blah. It wasn’t gross, it just wasn’t as flavorful as I was expecting or hoping for. Surprisingly, despite the fact that the sauce had a half of a pineapple in it, the tacos didn’t taste much like pineapple at all. My family all had similar feelings towards this dish: even with garnishes it wasn’t terribly flavorful.
That being said, based on the rave review given on the website I got the recipe from, perhaps this was a matter of personal preference. Or, maybe the type of meat has an impact on the flavor that I had not anticipated. Either way, my experience with this meal was clearly very different. If I were to make it again, I would definitely make a few changes to try to amp up the flavor. I would try a different type of meat, a different type of beer, or adding ingredients to the sauce such as cilantro.
This recipe could not be simpler. It required very little prep and clean up, and the fact that it could be made and left to cook was very convenient.
This recipe was not as good as I was expecting. It was not terribly flavorful, which was disappointing.
Would I make it again?
Maybe. If I did, I would make a few changes to see if I could make it more flavorful.
Slow Cooker Tacos Al Pastor
Recipe from Gimme Some Oven
Yields: 6 – 8 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
- 1 (5-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), extra fat trimmed off
- 1 (12-oz.) bottle of beer
- 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
- 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored, then roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 3 Tablespoons chili powder (not cayenne)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- corn tortillas, for serving
- optional toppings: extra diced fresh pineapple, chopped fresh cilantro leaves, chopped red onions, shredded cheese
- Cut the pork into 2 inch cubes and place in the bowl of the slow cooker.
- Place the chipotles in adobo sauce, pineapple, red onion, chili powder, lime juice, white vinegar, salt, cumin, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Puree until completely smooth (about 30 to 60 seconds). Stir in the beer until combined.
- Pour the mixture over the pork, and toss to coat the pork.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours, until the pork is very tender and shreds easily with a fork.
- Shred the pork with two forks, and toss in the remaining juices.
- Serve warm on tortillas and garnish with optional toppings.