Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor

12 to 14 tacos
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, cheese, cilantro, corn tortillas, lime, pati's mexican table, pineapple, pork, tacos
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Tacos al Pastor recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 3 “Taco Night”


  • 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt, sirloin cutlets or butterfly chops, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 cups achiote adobo marinade
  • Half of a pineapple, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • To taste kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 12 to 14 corn tortillas, (or flour tortillas to make them “gringas” style)
  • Shredded queso asadero, Mexican Oaxaca or Chihuahua, or mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or any melty cheese of your choice (optional, for making them “gringas” style)
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped, to garnish
  • 1 cup white onion, roughly chopped, to garnish
  • 2 limes, cut into quarters, to garnish
  • Serve with a 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.

33 comments on “Tacos al Pastor

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  1. These were amazing! You’re cookbook and blog recipes have saved me since my family loves authentic Mexican food and there’s no good options around me. Thank you!

  2. Hi Pati!
    I have to tell you that I think you are absolutely gorgeous! I love your style, dishes, and decor! My family moved from California to Indiana, and unfortunately, I cannot find authentic Mexican food like I had in California. But, your show and your recipes give me the authentic Mexican dishes we are always searching for at home. Thank you for your show and recipes ❤️

  3. Pati, you have revived my love of cooking. I’ve been pretty worn down by the pandemic and cooking every night. But now when it’s time to make supper I turn on your show and have some fun. I love Mexico and even though my husband says we don’t need to go again, I am going, no matter what. Anyway making your tacos AL Pastor tonight.

    1. Thanks for the sweet words Sally, so glad you are cooking more and enjoying it 😉 Stay strong, these are difficult times for all, but I know we will be OK. Big hug to you!

  4. Delicious…I love your show and i think your a phenomenal cook…. I’ve been in the Food world my whole life and my family has owned a restaurant since 1971 and I enjoy good food good cooking but especially enjoy your show because of your family orientation values principles and Your love of cooking is which I come from… However I am not Mexican I’m actually Serbian I enjoy the cooking Viva la Patti Jinich!

    1. Hi Natalia, thanks for your kind message! This is another thing I love about cooking, it brings us all together, right? It doesn’t matter where we come from, we all love to cook and eat 🙂

  5. Hola, Pati.

    I’m tempted to try a variation on this. I’m thinking of making the marinade per recipe, but I would then slow cook the pork shoulder (which as been cubed) at a low temperature for several hours. What do you think of this? Please advise. Gracias.

  6. Where is the recipe for the cheese tomato topping? I saw you make it on your show last week, March 2019, ?(rerun). I want the amount of cheese to add to the one pound of Roma tomatoes.

  7. Que grato encontrar por la tv. Una persona como tu. Con tanta facilidad hace toda clase de platillos, sopas , postres etc. Realmente una Maestra de la cocina. Muchas gracias. Vivo en Houston Tx .

  8. I’m not really using this recipe but I was inspired by some of your past recipes with pork and I made something similar with : pork shoulder, achiote paste, piña juice, garlic, soy sauce, vingar,salt,pepper,orgegano, cumin,marjoram. I hope it turns out well 🙂

  9. Hola Pati, gracias por tu receta, nos han quedado unos tacos al pastor buenisimos
    Gemma, una espanola desde Seattle

  10. I made these this weekend for my fiance and all his co-workers on their last day of work at our local ski resort. They were a HIT!!! The flavors of the achiote paste with the citrus and guajillos were amaaazing. And it was so easy! Thanks Pati!

  11. Pati, I just love your style and am captivated by your shows.
    I just made the marinade after I finally found the achiote paste at a marvelous Mexican grocery nearby.
    I plan on taking the marinated meat to my son’s so he can barbecue it – have you ever done this before?

  12. Thank you! I saw this episode on Saturday and tried it today. So delicious! I made the tomatillo salsa too (and plan on making another batch to freeze tomorrow).