Savory pastrami shreds, crunchy pickled mustard seeds, crisp chopped onion. Don’t worry, carnitas will still be there when you get back.

Taco benders will never be the same, thanks to Alex Stupak’s seductive guide to Empellón-grade fare at home. The pollo and carnitas are as solid as ever, but look beyond the expected and you’ll be well rewarded with fresh, inventive spins wrapped in homemade tortillas. Your neighborhood taqueria workers will miss you, but if they saw this pastrami-packed creation, they’d understand. 

If Mexican colonists laid down roots among the Old World delicatessens of New York City, I like to imagine that this is the bastard taco they’d cook. A multi-day brine plus a 6-hour low-and-slow roast means this dish takes advance planning. But the longer you let the pastrami cure — three days is the minimum, but a week is ideal — the better chance you have at yielding insanely tender, well-seasoned meat permeated with the flavors of brown sugar and honey. The extra time pays off in shreds of coriander-scented pastrami, cut with tart pickled cabbage and mustard seeds.

Reprinted with permission from Tacos