Tacos al Pastor with Pineapple Salsa Roja

Tacos al Pastor
Up next in my Cinco de Mayo line up is one of my favourites, tacos al pastor! Al pastor is a Mexican pork that is marinated in chilies and pineapple, layered and roasted on a vertical rotisserie similar to shawarma. Because cooking pork in this fashion is not easy for every home cook I like to use this slow cooker version that gives all of the flavours of al pastor using a method that is much easier to do at home. This recipe starts out by making a salsa with dried chilies and pineapple and it is used both to marinate the pork butt and in the final tacos. Once the pork has been marinated in the pineapple salsa it is cooked in the slow cooker until tender before being shredded to be used in the tacos. I like to keep the fillings for tacos al pastor nice and simple with the al pastor pork, onions, cilantro, grilled pineapple and the spicy pineapple salsa. Pork and pineapple is a beautiful combination and and it is simply amazing in these tacos al pastor which are definitely going to be the star at any Cinco de Mayo party!

Tacos al Pastor
The al pastor pork is great in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, etc.

Tacos al Pastor
Feel free to load the tacos up with your favourite tacos fillers like guacamole and crumbled cotija cheese!

Tacos al Pastor
The original photo from 6 years ago:

Tacos al Pastor
Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 8 hours Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes Servings: 6

Pork tacos al pastor with grilled pineapple and a pineapple salsa.



ingredients
  • 4 dried guajillo chilies
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 dried chipotle chili
  • 1 pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (2 pound) pork butt or shoulder
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges (optional)
directions
  1. Toast the dried chilies in a pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes, let them cool, cut them in half and remove the seeds and stems.
  2. Cover the chilies in boiling water and let sit until softened, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Puree the chilies, 1/2 of the pineapple (coarsely chopped), 1/2 the onion, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, cumin, oregano and salt in a food processor or blender until smooth optionally using some of the water the chilies were soaking in if needed.
  4. Rub half the sauce over the pork and let marinate for an hour to overnight.
  5. Place the pork and marinade in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  6. Remove the pork, roughly shred, discarding any excess fat, mix in some of the juices along with half of the remaining sauce.
  7. Serve the al pastor pork in tortillas with the remaining pineapple, onions and the cilantro with lime wedges and the remaining salsa on the side.

Option: Replace the dried chilies with 2-4 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce or ground chili powder or cayenne to taste.
Option: Slice the second half of the pineapple and grill it before cutting it into small pieces for the tacos.
Option: Add a couple of tablespoons of achiote to get a nice red colour.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 417, Fat 10g (Saturated 2.8g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 104mg, Sodium 637mg, Carbs 43.6g (Fiber 7.2g, Sugars 14g), Protein 39.2g
Nutrition by: Nutritional facts powered by Edamam

55 comments:

Melissa said...

Wow! This looks so much better than something you would find at Chipolte, and I love Chipolte!

soulchocolate said...

I love how fresh this looks!

Elly said...

This looks so delicious, Kevin. I just bookmarked it. Mmm.

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

soulchocolate beat me to my adjective: "fresh". this just screams fresh and healthy. Lovely photography too.

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

This looks so great and I love that you incorporate those adobo chili's I just used them for the first time not too long ago and love the flavor they add to a meal!!

Jenn Sutherland said...

Al Pastor is one of my favorites...and these look delicious! I've never made them at home before - we live 2 blocks from a whole strip of tasty taquerias, but I might just give this one a go, as I have a shoulder roast in the freezer.

AnticiPlate said...

YUM! We have a restaurant in Seattle called La Carta de Oaxocao and they serve something VERY similar to this. I LOVE IT! This recipe is going on my list!

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

wow! This is loaded with good stuff!

Steph said...

That looks delicious!

Heather said...

yum. that sounds great. i'll have to try it!

Lori said...

You just sent my craving for Mexican food over the top! They look so tasty!

Holly said...

These look delicious. The pineapple and cilantro would be so bright and welcome in this month!

Esi said...

Here in LA we take our tacos very seriously, this looks like an excellent recipe!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Tex-Mex food is really gorgeous and so is this dish! Absolutely yummy!

cheers,

Rosa

Homecooked said...

Wow...these look delicious and beautiful!

Leticia said...

Al Pastor is definitely one of my favorites...this looks so great. I just wish it was on a yellow corn tortilla. :o)

Debbie said...

Sounds delicious!

lisaiscooking said...

I can't go more than a couple days without some TexMex. Love the idea of keeping it simple and skipping the guac and sour cream.

Dawn said...

you must have such a wonderful spice cabinet. these look sooo good.
I made your maple pecan pie and added a few things to it...came out great!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I'd never heard of this style of taco, but that sounds incredible. I love texmex flavors, I'll have to try this very soon

Rosie said...

Looks fresh, delicious and inviting Kevin, so much so I could eat a taco now~ YUM!

Rosie x

MissGreenTea said...

Yum...fresh, simple and delicious. That would make a great lunch...bookmarked ;)

Pam said...

Kevin, can I come over for dinner the next time you make these? My mouth started watering the second I looked at these photos. Delicious!

cindy* said...

yum! these look incredible.

Jan said...

Love all those ingredients - those tacos look good!

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet said...

My husband and I just returned from a vacation in Mexico, and I definitely remember how mouthwatering those tacos al pastor are. So thanks for sharing such a memory-evoking recipe!

Although for health and ease of preparation I still think I prefer fish tacos in the end.

Karen said...

I'll take three - with rice and beans, please :)

amandalouden said...

Looks great! Love it.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Glad you liked them Kevin. This dish is actually a regional specialty of Puebla and isn't something you see in most mexican restaurants. Yours looks great!

Mrs. L said...

To me there is nothing like Tacos al Pastor. The best place to get them around here, is seriously, taco trucks. I had my first taco al pastor many years ago when one of the food trucks used to stop at our assembly place. Sooo good. This is something I need to try to make!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I find when I'm craving something, it's usually Tex-Mex or Mex. Tacos al pastor are one of my favourites. Delicious!

foodphotoblog.com said...

Good stuff. Luckily I live in San Diego where you can close your eyes throw a rock and you will most likely hit a taco stand. Nice photography.

Bellini Valli said...

I don't know how or why I have missed so many of your posts Kevin but things are looking good at Closet Cooking!!!!

Jeanne said...

Oh Kevin, this is probably my all-time favourite Mexican dish. We had it at my Mexican friend's wedding in Chihuahua, done on the vertical rotisserie and sliced directly onto our tacos - it was the most heavenly thing ever. Thanks for sharing the recipe - I just wish the chiles you mention were easier to get hold of in London :(

Jaime said...

yum! i am bookmarking this recipe too!

Ali said...

I think if my husband wasn't already married to me--and it it was legal--he would marry tacos al pastor! I've never made it though but since I found your recipe, I think I may have to try!

JamiePhoto said...

This recipe looks wonderful. I am planning on making these for a bunch of my friends soon and was wondering about how many taco's did this make for you?

Kevin said...

JamiePhoto: I used about a 3 pound pork butt and 6 inch across taco shells and I got about 8 tacos from it. You can easily choose the size of the pork butt that you use to increase the amount of tacos that you get.

jcs said...

I love the tacos...but you call this tex-mex???

Tacos al Pastor are a Mexico City dish...nothing "Tex" about them (unless you put them in a flour tortilla). In fact, last time I was in Texas, I visited all the Tex-Mex restaurants I could, and I had genuine trouble finding this dish. It's much easier to find them in Mexican restaurants in Washington, DC where I live...go figure...

Bob said...

Here is a link to a portable Al Pastor machine 21"tall & 14"wide. You just hook up propane and turn on the motor. They are $250 complete and there is a complete stainless one.

Bob said...

Woops forgot to post the link.
http://s423.photobucket.com/albums/pp319/gootjr/Al%20Pastor/

rutheye said...

just discovered your blog...and have already made three items. each one was better than ever. this taco recipe blew my husband away! pork has never tasted so good, aside from southern BBQ!

TaraTakesTheCake said...

yum! this is one of the foods i miss most from my monthly trips to Tijuana when I lived in San Diego!! Absolutely one of my favorite foods. and you dont have to skip on the guac! often times it is served with a very loose avocado salsa at the place I used to frequent

Anonymous said...

Los autenticos Tacos al Pastor son 100% Mexicanos! Si quieren comer autenticos tacos al pastor tienen que ir a Mexico. Aqui en USA no esta permitido cocinar la carne en el trompo como lo hacen en Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Tacos al Pastor is NOT tex mex.

Anonymous said...

I recently returned to US after living several years in Zihuatanejo, Mexico and have to agree: Mex not TexMex. There were al Pastor stands on almost every block. They were great for a late nite snack on the way home. Just watching the guys make the thin slices from the vertical rotating pork and pineapple was the best part. So yummy. I was wondering how I could possibly do this at home. Thanks for sharing this with us Kevin.

md said...

You must have the highest metabolic rate in the land, Kevin; I'm frequently agog at the size of the servings in your gorgeous photos!

Anonymous said...

Love your recipes...and in interest of maintaining the integrity of Mexican food pure and authentic, tacos are prepared with CORN tortillas, if FLOUR tortillas are used they are considered burritos. Compare it with using plain sandwich bread rather than a bun and calling it a typical 'American hamburger' or using same sandwich bread with a wiener and calling it a hot dog, it looses its originality and cultural meaning.

Thank you for listening.

Tieghan said...

Holy yum!! These look delicious!! Love the pineapple!!

Matt Robinson said...

AMAZING as always. I don't know how you do it. Literally everything you put up here, I immediately want. These will be perfect this summer and I love the use of the slow cooker. Thanks!

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie said...

I love al pastor! Must make these.

g said...

Flour tortillas make Jesus cry. I have dreams about the gyro meat spinner thingys they use to make tacos al pastor. I am perfectly sane.

Kevin Lynch said...

Anonymous & G: All of the tortillas in the photos except the last (old) photo are corn tortillas.

leslielinn1 said...

if you don't eat pork, what meat would you substitute? looks delish!

Kevin Lynch said...

leslielinn1: Beef would probably be your next best option, chuck cut or something similarly fatty.

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