Sous Vide El Pastor Pork Shoulder
Sous Vide plus fall off the bone pork is where it's at! This recipe takes the flavors from the classic Mexican street food -- El Pastor -- and applies them to a slow-cooked pork shoulder. The 18-hour cook time give you the best of both worlds. The tougher parts of the pork shoulder are moist and stringy. They'll literally fall apart in your hand and melt in your mouth. The inner, fatty sections will be super moist and soft as a prime rib on Sunday. The flavor profile of fresh and dry chilis, pineapple, vinegar, and garlic add a delicious and earthy spice matrix to the pork, making it pop with rice and beans or in a taco. No matter how you serve it, this pork will not last long as people come back for seconds and thirds.
A self-described traveler, drinker, eater, writer, photographer, and adventurer, Zach knows when good food is on the horizon he'll turn to his Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to ensure it's perfectly done time after time.
Prep Time: 00:45
Recipe Time: 18:00
145F / 62.8C
- 5lb./2.5kg Pork Shoulder on the bone
- 1 Pineapple
- For the El Pastor Rub: 1 Yellow Onion
- 2 cloves of Garlic
- 1 Jalapeno
- 1 Habanero
- 1/2c/0.1l White Vinegar
- 1 Lime
- 1 Dried Pasilla Chili
- 12 Dried Arbol Chilis
- 1/2c/0.1l Chicken Broth
- Pinch of Allspice
- Olive Oil
- Set your Anova Precision Cooker to 145F/60C with at least a 12-quart/12-liter basin.
- Peel and half the onion, peel garlic, and deseed the fresh chilis.
- Peel pineapple. Remove soft flesh and make sure to keep the spine.
- Add onion, garlic, fresh chilis, and pineapple spine to a small roasting pan. Cover with olive oil and salt and roast on the oven's highest temp until a sear forms on everything.
Alternatively, you can do this over a fire or grill.
- While that's searing, pour boiling water over the dried Arbol and Pasilla chilis and let them bloom.
- Once there's nice sear on the oven medley, add them to an immersion mixer or blender. Add the chilis, chicken stock, vinegar, allspice, and lime juice.
- Blend until a thick paste forms. It should be about the same thickness as a sambal olek.
- Pat the pork shoulder dry with towels and generously salt the whole cut then rub the El Pastor sauce into the meat.
- Place the meat into a 1.5g/6l bag. Add a few pineapple slices for extra flavor. Remove air and seal.
- Lay the bag in the water bath and set a timer for 18 hours.
You should cover the water bath to hinder too much water evaporating over the course of the cook.
Crisp and Serve
- Preheat an oven or smoker to around 250F.
- Remove the pork shoulder from the water bath and place on a roasting tray. Place in oven for about an hour to crisp the outer layer.
Make sure to save all the jus from the bag.
- Once there's a nice crisp outer layer, remove the meat from the oven and wrap in paper and foil and allow to rest 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Open up the package and tear apart the meat with your hands. The inner sections will be as soft as a fillet -- so use your knife to cut that part up.
Place all the meat on a serving platter and douse with the jus from the bag before serving.