A native Mexican plant where the bulbous root is eaten. The flesh is crisp like an apple with a nutty, sweet flavour. It is usually eaten raw or lightly cooked.
• Achiote paste
This is a popular spicing and colouring blend that is made from annatto seeds, cumin, coriander, black pepper and oregano. As well as spicing a dish, it gives it a vibrant red colour from the annatto seeds.
• Pork collar
Also called pork neck, this is a group of muscles that run from the jowl of the pig, through the neck to the shoulder. It is a versatile cut with really good marbling that can be grilled and served blushing pink or slow-cooked until meltingly tender.
• Banana leaves
Available from Mexican and Southeast Asian grocers, banana leaves are used to seal in ingredients, and they trap in steam, flavours and aromas, concentrating them.
El Pastor in London’ Soho is the newest and fifth taqueria from EP founders Sam and James Hart, Crispin Somerville and executive chef Marvin Jones (left). Upstairs among the hanging plants and tiles find signature tortillas (made with Mexican corn) topped with cochinita pibil, short rib or crispy duck; tostadas piled with tuna, scallops or chicken tinga; and tacos including a beer-battered pollock version. The basement bar, Mezcaleria El Colmillo, is named after the nightclub Sam and Crispin ran in the 90s and 00s in Mexico City. Expect a full list of mezcal and tequila. tacoselpastor.co.uk
1 HOUR | SERVES 4-6 AS A SIDE | EASY | V
olive oil 1 tbsp
onion ½, finely chopped
garlic 4 cloves, crushed
jalapeño 1, finely chopped
small red thai chilli 1, finely chopped
caster sugar 1 tbsp
lime juice 1 tbsp
mozzarella block 100g, grated
chilli powder a pinch
jalapeños or green chillies 4, deseeded if you like
lime ½, juiced
1 Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Drain the corn and tip half into a baking tray. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until charred, stirring halfway through.
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