Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor
Print Recipe
12 to 14 tacos
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt, sirloin cutlets or butterfly chops, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 cups achiote adobo marinade (recipe follows)
  • Half of a pineapple, peeled, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • kosher or coarse sea salt to taste
  • 12 to 14 corn tortillas (use flour tortillas if turning these tacos into “gringas”)
  • Shredded queso asadero, Mexican Oaxaca or Chihuahua, or mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or any melty cheese of your choice (optional, to be turned into “gringas”)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro to garnish
  • 1 cup roughly chopped white onion to garnish
  • 2 limes cut into quarters, to garnish
  • salsa of your choice
To Prepare
  • Marinate the meat in the adobo marinade for at least 3 hours, or up to 48 hours, in the refrigerator. Reserve 3/4 cup of marinade to brush on the pineapple before grilling/cooking and to finish off meat.
  • When ready to make tacos, remove the meat from the refrigerator. Brush some of the reserved marinade on the pineapple slices. Reserve the remaining marinade.
  • Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a tablespoon of oil. Place as many pineapple slices as will fit on the skillet and sear for about 3 minutes per side, until juicy and lightly charred on both sides. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, cut the pineapple into thin slices about 1 to 2-inches long and 1/4-inch wide, removing the core. Place in a bowl and cover.
  • Drizzle another tablespoon of oil onto the skillet. Lightly sprinkle the meat with salt to taste. Sear as many slices of meat as will fit in the pan, without over crowding, for about 2 minutes per side until browned on both sides. Cook in batches if necessary. Place the meat on a chopping board. Cut it crosswise into thin slices about 1/4-inch thick and 1-inch wide.
  • Once done with all the meat, reduce the heat to medium, place the meat back in the skillet and pour the rest of the unused marinade on top. Stir and cook for another minute. Cover and set on the table.
  • On a pre-heated cast iron skillet or comal set over medium heat, heat the corn tortillas 1 to 2 minutes per side until thoroughly cooked, lightly browned and crisp on the outside. Place them in a tortilla warmer and bring to the table along with the meat, pineapple, chopped cilantro, chopped onion, lime wedges, and salsa of your choice. Let everyone assemble their own tacos.
  • Note: If you want to offer some “gringas,” heat flour tortillas on the comal and, once hot, add the melty cheese, fold, and let it melt as if it were a quesadilla. Once melted, re-open the tortilla, add a generous tablespoon or two of the sliced meat, fold again and serve.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt, sirloin cutlets or butterfly chops, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 cups achiote adobo marinade (recipe follows)
  • Half of a pineapple, peeled, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • kosher or coarse sea salt to taste
  • 12 to 14 corn tortillas (use flour tortillas if turning these tacos into “gringas”)
  • Shredded queso asadero, Mexican Oaxaca or Chihuahua, or mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or any melty cheese of your choice (optional, to be turned into “gringas”)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro to garnish
  • 1 cup roughly chopped white onion to garnish
  • 2 limes cut into quarters, to garnish
  • salsa of your choice
To Prepare
  • Marinate the meat in the adobo marinade for at least 3 hours, or up to 48 hours, in the refrigerator. Reserve 3/4 cup of marinade to brush on the pineapple before grilling/cooking and to finish off meat.
  • When ready to make tacos, remove the meat from the refrigerator. Brush some of the reserved marinade on the pineapple slices. Reserve the remaining marinade.
  • Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a tablespoon of oil. Place as many pineapple slices as will fit on the skillet and sear for about 3 minutes per side, until juicy and lightly charred on both sides. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, cut the pineapple into thin slices about 1 to 2-inches long and 1/4-inch wide, removing the core. Place in a bowl and cover.
  • Drizzle another tablespoon of oil onto the skillet. Lightly sprinkle the meat with salt to taste. Sear as many slices of meat as will fit in the pan, without over crowding, for about 2 minutes per side until browned on both sides. Cook in batches if necessary. Place the meat on a chopping board. Cut it crosswise into thin slices about 1/4-inch thick and 1-inch wide.
  • Once done with all the meat, reduce the heat to medium, place the meat back in the skillet and pour the rest of the unused marinade on top. Stir and cook for another minute. Cover and set on the table.
  • On a pre-heated cast iron skillet or comal set over medium heat, heat the corn tortillas 1 to 2 minutes per side until thoroughly cooked, lightly browned and crisp on the outside. Place them in a tortilla warmer and bring to the table along with the meat, pineapple, chopped cilantro, chopped onion, lime wedges, and salsa of your choice. Let everyone assemble their own tacos.
  • Note: If you want to offer some “gringas,” heat flour tortillas on the comal and, once hot, add the melty cheese, fold, and let it melt as if it were a quesadilla. Once melted, re-open the tortilla, add a generous tablespoon or two of the sliced meat, fold again and serve.

Achiote Adobo Marinade
Print Recipe
makes about 2 cups Adobo de Achiote
Ingredients
  • 2 guajillo chiles
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1 cup bitter orange juice (or substitute with 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/3 cup lime juice and 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground true or ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
To Prepare
  • Stem and seed the guajillo chiles. Toast them on a pre-heated comal or skillet, set over medium heat, for about 1 to 2 minutes per side until they are toasted, but not burnt. Place the chiles in a saucepan, add enough water to cover them, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until the chiles are plumped up and rehydrated.
  • In a blender, place the chiles along with 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid and the rest of the ingredients. Puree until smooth. Use as a marinade.
Ingredients
  • 2 guajillo chiles
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1 cup bitter orange juice (or substitute with 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/3 cup lime juice and 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground true or ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
To Prepare
  • Stem and seed the guajillo chiles. Toast them on a pre-heated comal or skillet, set over medium heat, for about 1 to 2 minutes per side until they are toasted, but not burnt. Place the chiles in a saucepan, add enough water to cover them, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until the chiles are plumped up and rehydrated.
  • In a blender, place the chiles along with 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid and the rest of the ingredients. Puree until smooth. Use as a marinade.

18 comments on “Tacos al Pastor

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  1. Muy buenos! Lo unico que hice diferente, fue que después de rebanar la carne, la dore en un poco de aceite con algo de la marinada reservada.

  2. Pati, You are the best, thank you so much for taking time to answer my message. I can’t wait to get my order/ingredients and try them. I am equally excited to try your chicken recipe, it looks and sounds incredibly yummy. I have your website bookmarked and I should be getting your cookbook any day and have already reordered the one coming out next year 🙂 can’t wait. Keep up the good work and keep the yummy recipes coming.
    A very happy camper,
    Terry

  3. My husband and I saw this episode the other day and I decided to give it a try. I made them yesterday for my dad’s birthday and everyone loooooved them ☺ Great recipe, thanks Pati!

  4. Hi Patti,
    We love watching your show, especially the stories and information on ingredients and substitutions and all the wonderful recipes, (there are still so many we want to try).
    We are in a rural area, so I order my Mexican ingredients from Mexgrocer, I was looking for the achiote paste, but there were a lot of choices and I was wondering if you have a favorite brand or brands that you can recommend.

    We are waiting for the cooler weather to make more pozole, yum.
    Now I am off to search your chicken recipes to see if I can find one similar to some we had that was slightly sweet with a hint of lime, cinnamon with tomatoes, sweet onion and green peppers.
    Thank you.
    Terry

  5. Hola pati no soy mexicana pero me encanta toda la comida mexicana sobre todo todas tus recetas. Hoy me he visto todos los platos de comida que has hecho en especial los tacos al pastor, los tamales y los churros se ven delicioso mañana tratare de hacer la carne para los tacos al pastor igual como esta en la receta espero que me queden bien ricos. No me pierdo tu programa y tienes unos hermosos hijos dios los bendiga y a ti también.

    1. Saeli, mil gracias por mandarme este mensaje tan lindo. Que bueno que te guste mi programa y las recetas que presento, ojalá que cocines muchas!

  6. Hi Pati. We made the tacos al pastor and the carnitas last weekend. They were a big hit! I have been making your pickled jalapenos too. Next project is to try the chipotles in adobo with some of the jalapenos from our garden. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes! I have always been intimidated to cook Mexican dishes at home but you make it so accessible. So far everything has been delicious and I can’t wait to make more. Janice

      1. I tried the bricklayer tacos yesterday… Wow! So so yummy! I can’t wait to try more! I’m thrilled I can cook authentic foods for my husband and family with your help! Keep up the fantastic work!

  7. Hi Pati
    I want to make your Al Pastor tacos. I have found everything I need but I can only find the achiote in a powder form and a package of what looks like little seeds not the paste. Can I use either one of those if so how can I substitute.

    My wife and I love watching your show. Will you be making floutis any time soon? I think I miss spelled that but I think you know what I mean

  8. Hi, Pati!
    I made your Al Pastor recipe for our Cinco de Mayo celebration and they were delicious. I made my own achiote paste and need to adjust accordingly next time, but they were so flavorful and amazing. My question is in reference to an achiote quandary. In searching our local Mexican market for the achiote paste cubes, I could not find one brand that did not contain Red 40. Do you know of a good brand? I am not averse to making my own, I was just thinking that the flavor would be different than my homemade paste and I want to compare the two. Thanks in advance, Pati! I absolutely love your show. 🙂

    1. Hola Cole, Thank you for making my tacos al pastor! I’ve seen some achiote pastes without dyes online; maybe run quick search? Though your homemade sounds delicious.