The best thing about running out of, or not being able to find, a certain type of food or ingredient is that when this happens you need to figure out what to use instead. No salt? Use a drop of fish sauce. No vinegar? Try some lime. But what do you do when you’re missing a chilli? Easy. Sub in a different chilli.
I was making some ‘Al Pastor‘ recently when I discovered I had no dry ancho chillies. I know, disaster I heard you shout. But no! I decided to use some morita chipotle chillies instead. What a result! These rehydrated dry chillies combined with some chipotles in abodo sauce really kicked up the heat and flavour.
Usually with the Al Pastor you would use 1 tomato with the skin roasted off, but with this I use a bunch of piccolo tomatoes. These added a really sweet flavour to the sauce.
- 500g pork fillet, or about 8 pork chops, cut into small chunks
- 20-30 Piccolo tomoatoes
- 4 dried Guajillo chillies
- 6 dried Morita chillies
- 4 or 5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 200g chopped pineapple
- 3 cloves
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1 tablespoon salt
- In a small hot, dry pan charr the tomatoes until they start to burst. This will take about 10 minutes. Try not blacken them too much.
- Meanwhile clean all the seeds and stems from the chillies and put them in a pot of water. Bring to the boil and dimmer for around 10 minutes, until soft.
- Next put all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth, thick sauce.
- Put the pork into a large bowl and cover with the sauce. Ideally let marinade for 2 to 24 hours in the fridge.
- To cook heat a pan and add some olive oil. Cook the meat in 2 or 3 batches. There’s no need to wash or clean the pan in between cooks. Most of the marinade should reduce during cooking.
- Once done serve up with some caramelised pineapple, onion and rice. Or do as I love to do, pop on a taco.