Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pork al Pastor Bowl - Deal of the Day

Al Pastor is Middle Eastern-style fire-grilled pork served on a tortilla. Mexico has a small Middle Eastern population, so it's only natural the two cuisines would co-mingle.

For a typical al Pastor Taco, the pork is sliced thin and marinated in spices and chiles. As the fire cooks the meat, it is rotated and sliced thin and piled on a corn tortilla.

On the stack of sliced chile marinated pork is a large juicy pineapple that the cook nicks a piece from, to top each taco.

I made an al Pastor taco truck video. Leo's Taco Truck possibly makes the best al Pastor in Los Angeles, and I'm not the only one who says so - it's on every local foodies Top Ten list. Just check it out here to see what goes into an al Pastor Taco.

This latest Deal of the Day is a Pork al Pastor Bowl made by Herdez. It's a satisfying version for 99.99 cents. The chile-infused sauce is similar to a Mexican slow-cooked guisado stew.

 I've done a delish Chicken Tinga Stew video too, that is very similar, and you can check it out here to see how simply it's done.

For a small serving at 10 ounces, it's loaded with flavor. One side of the bowl is Spanish rice and the other side is a thick gravy of intense chile with real chunks of tender pork.

While the picture on the box exaggerates (of course) the size of the pork pieces, they are big enough and they are not skimpy with the total amount of meat. Of course there are no avocado slices like on the cover.

I like that the meat is not made from a processed loaf. I even tasted a couple of small chunks of sweet pineapple.

The sauce tastes like a typical bowl of chile you would get anywhere. Herdez mentions guajillo chiles, and the flavor is very similar to regular dried or fresh red chiles. There is also a mild chili heat - even if you have a low spicy tolerance, I think you can handle this Pork al Pastor Bowl.

Spanish rice is flavored with tomato sauce and studded with whole kernals of corn and green peas. The veggies were firm, not mushy as with most frozen fare.

One small flaw is the watery rice. I'm not sure if that is on purpose? The rice is not mushy, but it could have been dryer, to contrast with the saucy pork stew.
But overall I liked this Deal of the Day. So on the 99 Cent Chef's Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best, I give Herdez Pork al Pastor Bowl a perfect 9 !

This is a great Deal of the Day that I would pay full price for, even from a regular grocery frozen case.

I had a Chicken Mole Bowl by Herdez before (click here) and this is just as good. Herdez does an excellent job with their frozen meals.

 Click on any photo to see larger.

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