Difference Between Carnitas, Carne Asada, and Al Pastor

The beer-drinking backdrop of a sizzling afternoon or night would pair completely with a festive Mexican feast of tacos and grilled meats. However with a menagerie of Spanish monikers from carnitas to carne asada, taco meat terminology can get a bit complicated. This is the breakdown of Mexican meats:

  • Carne asada: Grilled, marinated items of beef (sometimes sirloin or rib) served inside burritos and tacos.
  • Carnitas: Shoulder of pork that is been seasoned, braised till tender with lard and herbs (oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, garlic), pulled aside, after which oven-roasted till barely crisp, then eaten alone or used as a filling for tacos, tamales, tortas, and burritos.
  • Al pastor: Crisp-thin shavings of vertical spit-roasted pork, marinated with guajillo chiles and achiote, then served on tortillas. Pastor means “shepherd,” the title given to Lebanese retailers who immigrated to Mexico Metropolis within the early 1900s, bringing the idea of shawarma with them.
  • Cochinita pibil: Complete suckling pig or pork shoulder that is marinated in citrus with achiote, then wrapped in banana leaves and roasted. Traditionally, it is buried in a pit with a fireplace on the backside.
  • Barbacoa: Historically, beef cheek and head that is lined in leaves from the maguey plant, then sluggish cooked over a wooden hearth in a pit within the floor. In America as we speak, it additionally refers to spicy, shredded, slow-braised beef that is been made tender, then pulled aside.

Obtained all that? What Mexican meat goes in between your tortillas?

Picture Supply: POPSUGAR Images / Anna Monette Roberts

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