The BEST Tacos Al Pastor you will ever eat and SO EASY! They’re exploding with restaurant-style flav
Tacos Al Pastor – you’ll ever taste, and it’s SO SIMPLE! They are made with thinly sliced pork that has been marinated in chile and pineapple, grilled to perfection, and topped with caramelized pineapple, and they explode with restaurant-style flavor.
What is Tacos Al Pastor?
If you are unfamiliar with Al Pastor, which translates from Spanish as “shepherd style,” it is a popular pork dish in Central America in which pork is marinated in pineapple, chilies, and spices before being stacked and cooked vertically on a spit that rotates slowly, with a pineapple on top to moisten the pork.
The pork’s exterior edges turn gorgeously crisp and caramelized while the interior stays deliciously juicy. To-order thin slices of the Al Pastor are cut from the spit-grilled meat and served with chunks of fresh pineapple. Heaven.
Tacos Al Pastor Ingredients
- 3 -3 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder sliced 1/4” inch thick (see note)***
- 1 ripe pineapple peeled and sliced into 1/2” thick rings
- 4 dried Guajillo chiles
- 1/3 cup canned pineapple juice*
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/2 onion peeled
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons achiote paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 chipotle pepper from can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- corn tortillas
- pico de gallo
- Homemade Salsa
- sour cream
- hot sauce
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- Heat a medium-high heat in a skillet. Toss in the guajillo chiles and toast for three minutes, turning once, until fragrant and with a few blisters. Peppers should be moved to a cutting board. When the chiles are cool enough to handle, remove the tops, cut them in half, and remove the seeds, taking care not to get them in your eyes.
- Cover the chiles in water and return them to the skillet. Cook for three to five minutes to soften. Add the marinade and the softened chilies to a blender, and blend until smooth.
- Put the pork in a freezer-size bag or shallow dish. Mix in the marinade and stir to coat each piece evenly. Cover and marinate for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to a high temperature with grease. Grill pineapple for about 5 minutes per side or until lightly charred. Once cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and chop, removing the center rind.
- Once more, grease the grill and turn the heat to high. Add the pork to the grill after removing it from the marinade (you may need to work in batches) 2 to 4 minutes per side, grill over high heat until lightly charred and just cooked through. Before chopping into bite-sized pieces, transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for five minutes.
- Al Pastor with your favorite toppings—pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, lime, and so on—in warm tortillas.
Can I prepare an Al Pastor without a grill?
Yes! Using a heavy-duty skillet or an indoor grill pan, you can cook Al Pastor well. To ensure that the pork sears and does not steam, make sure it is lined in a single layer in the pan. Take note that you will need to cook your Al Pastor in multiple batches, so it will take longer to cook.