Thursday, April 5, 2007


My new goal: Making my ideal Tacos al Pastor. I have never had this hypothetical al Pastor because it does not exist as far as I know. I have scoured the bowels of Woodland and the Bay Area for the perfect pastor. I’ve visited the shadiest of taco rolling establishments, on a solid foundation, and on wheels. There are many fine al Pastor tacos out there, hence my obsession with this blessed form of pork, but none of them have all of the qualities that I desire in one tortilla. I am looking for the perfect flavor matched with the perfect texture, it’s hard to find both. Considering the price of near perfect Tacos al Pastor, I don’t know why I want to make my own. Contrary to most foods, I firmly believe that the quality of Mexican food is inversely proportional to the cost of the food; I have found very few exceptions to this rule. Tacos should cost no more than $1 and burritos no more than $4, $5 only if it is big enough to beat down George W. (To the FBI Agents illegally utilizing the Patriot Act: Brooks takes full responsibility for this statement, these are not “necessarily” the views of Kristen).
I did some preliminary research and formulated a recipe that I will try first based on the collective wisdom of others. I procured all of the ingredients so I could make “Tacos al Pastor al Brooks” for my taste testers, but could not find my food processor anywhere! I don't think I have moved it from my old place in the land of Roach Coaches yet. So why am I writing this if I didn't wasn't able to make the adobo sauce? I still had to feed my friends so I cheated and used the adobo that is used to pack with chipotle peppers in the little cans from Mexico (Embassa, La Costena, Herdez). If it is in the little cans from Mexico it is tasty stuff, but just barely qualifies as adobo. I don't want to talk about this attempt much more because it was a failure. It tasted pretty good and my friends didn’t complain, but I don't think they have ever eaten a taco from an establishment that: 1) Is on four wheels 2) Harbors more flies than a barn 3) Only sells Coke in reusable bottles from Mexico 4) Likely sells the other kind of coke if you go to the back of the truck 5) Offers curbs for seating 6) Serves food on paper plates (and it isn’t that classy “Chinet” stuff)……. If the particular establishment is not on four wheels, then I expect to be watching Mexican soap operas or soccer while waiting for my tacos. These are the characteristics of a fine Mexican restaurant.
As usual, I caught something on fire. This time it was my hands, if only figuratively. My hands were in adobo sauce for about five minutes while attempting to squeeze every last drop of adobo sauce out of the peppers. I will be wearing latex gloves from now on. For two hours, my hands felt like they had been ruler slapped by a mid-century British schoolteacher. I should have learned my lesson a few years ago when I had a bad experience after chopping up Habaneros. This is a family blog, so if you want details on that particular story then we will need to communicate via private email.
If I ever come up with my perfect pastor recipe I will let you all know ("you all," referring to our enormous base of daily readers.) I think if we ever get a reasonable amount of readers I will organize a "Woodland Taco Truck Crawl." Kristen has been dying to do this for some time now!
Although I love the shady Taquerias, I am a little bit choosy on where I go based on the fact that I also love cats. Though I have some issues with the food animal industry in general, I prefer to stick with making tacos from the standard food animals. On another note, don’t forget about our friends from south of the border who man our taco trucks and are also indispensable behind the scenes of our fine dining establishments.

5 comments:

conestogaman said...

Hi Kristen. I have driven a big rig for many years and ate off many trucks from Woodland to Turlock.

The best Al Pastor I've had came off a taco truck at the corner of Fruitridge and South Watt av. just south of hwy 50 in Sacramento. I forget the name on the truck, but he was always on the northwest corner.

Good luck in your quest!

Conestogaman

adobo1 said...

TACOS AL PASTOR
The cooking method is the most important to prepare the real tacos al pastor.
With ADOBO OVEN. A revolutionary oven that allows its user to cook the meat of the “pastor tacos” while displaying the process inside any restaurant. This allows the restaurant patrons to experience the feeling of eating in a real Mexican “taquería”.

We realized that Mexican restaurants in the US lack the original “trompo de pastor” (traditional display pastor ovens), and we quickly learned that the reason for this is because traditional pastor ovens do not conform to the regulations imposed by the Health Department. A closer look at the issue revealed that with a conventional pastor oven, the rack of meat is slowly cooked from the outside, leaving a percentage of the meat in the inside at risk for bacteria reproduction.

ADOBO OVEN prevents this vulnerability by cooking the meat in a revolutionary way. Along with the burners on the outside, it also has an inside heating mechanism that cooks the meat from its core, thus allowing the whole rack of meat to reach the adequate temperature. ADOBO OVEN meets all of the requirements of the US Health Department and its revolutionary technology assures that the meat will always be safe and healthy.

Clients will enjoy the show of watching the “taquero” prepare tacos by cutting thin slices from the rack of pastor meat and placing them in a small corn tortilla along with onion, cilantro and the traditional small chunk of pineapple.
I can give you the recipe for the tacos al pastor.
For more information visit us at www.adobooven.com

Best regards,

Juan Antonio Rodriguez
Adobo Oven.
210-827-1757

Javy said...

I purchased this ADOBO OVEN and am very very dissatisfied.Rotisserie does not turn automatically.You must stand next to it to rotate manually.
The vertical bar ( or varilla )is not secure.It tips over when you try to rotate it manually.Owner promised to fix these issues but after a year later, after being paid , NO SUPPORT

Javy said...

I purchased this "ADOBO OVEN" and was very very disappointed.It does not rotate like it should.You have to stand next to it to manually turn.(sucks).The vertical bar(or varilla) WILL NOT STAY IN PLACE.
This "heated bar BURNS meet internally and spreads this burnt taste thru out the rest of meat.
Owner made promises to correct these
issues but after a year , no action !!

Javy said...

I purchased this "ADOBO OVEN" and was very very disappointed.It does not rotate like it should.You have to stand next to it to manually turn.(sucks).The vertical bar(or varilla) WILL NOT STAY IN PLACE.
This "heated bar BURNS meet internally and spreads this burnt taste thru out the rest of meat.
Owner made promises to correct these
issues but after a year , no action !!