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Pork Belly Al Pastor: Here’s the Secret Adobo Recipe From One of L.A.’s Most Ambitious Taqueros

4:13 PM PDT on May 5, 2020

[dropcap size=big]F[/dropcap]irst, the bad news.

You won’t be able to go to a bar this year and celebrate Cinco de Mayo over gross nachos, watery margaritas, and drunk people slaughtering the course to Cielito Lindo.

By which we mean, that’s the good news. 

Because this year you’re staying away from that sort of scene to create a well-curated feast for the people you’re staying at home with.

And to make sure you’re preparing something that will leave their minds properly blown, we tapped into the talents of Jonathan Perez, the mastermind behind L.A.’s celebrated modernist Mexican cuisine pop-up, Macheen.

All you’ll need is to do is review the below recipe for his incredible tacos with al pastor made with pork belly, acquire all the necessary supplies at Northgate, then prepare it just as Perez lays out for you below.

One warning: After they get a taste, you’ll most likely be making this one all the time for your ravenous companions.

Tacos with Al Pastor Pork Belly (feeds 6 to 8 people)

Al Pastor Marinade  

2 pounds of pork belly, sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips

5 oz achiote paste

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon ground clove

1 oz cumin 

3 whole chiles guajillo, stems removed

3 whole chiles ancho

1 1/2 cup pineapple juice

3 oz  apple cider vinegar

Charred Pineapple Pico  

1 half of a red onion

3 whole tomatoes

1 whole jalapeño 

1 bunch cilantro 

4 oz diced pineapple

1 lemon  

Salsa de Aguacate Taquera 

2 roasted and 2 raw jalapeños

1 bunch cilantro 

1 half onion, roasted 

4 whole roasted tomatillos 

1 cup of filtered water

The juice of 2 lemons 

4 whole avocado 

Salt to taste

Directions for Charred Pineapple Pico

Dice the red onion, tomatoes, jalapeño, and small pieces. Mince the cilantro, then combine all. Peel the pineapple skin with a knife and cut fruit into 2-inch slices. Heat a sauté pan over high heat and add the pineapple. You want to make sure the heat activates the pineapple sugar, giving it a nicely charred crust as it came straight from the top of the trompo at your favorite taqueria. Once that char is achieved, dice the pineapple and add it into the pico de gallo. Mix, add lemon juice, and add salt to taste. 

Salsa de Aguacate Taquera 

Roast your tomatillos, jalapeño, and onion, making sure to save the two raw jalapeños to add later. Once nicely roasted, add ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Add the raw jalapeño and avocado last and blend until smooth.

Pork Belly 

Blend all marinade ingredients in a blender, making sure everything is well blended.

Season your pork belly with salt and pepper, then fully submerge the pork in your marinade, giving it at least 30 minutes to marinate. The longer it sits in the marinade, the more of the bright red al pastor color it will acquire. 

Place a pan on medium heat. Once you see your pan reach the smoke point, add your sliced pork belly and sear for about 4 minutes on each side.

Add your tortillas to the comal and assemble your taco in any order you wish using the pico and salsa aguacate. Enjoy!

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