Tacos al Pastor Recipe
An authentic Tacos al Pastor Recipe with a crunchy twist! I’m serving my all-time favorite taco filling with crunchy taco shells and fresh pineapple today. It’s a fun way to freshen up this classic recipe.
Tacos al Pastor. Spicy chile marinated pork cooked on a spit over the fire, then shaved into crispy bits of porky perfection. Well, that’s not exactly how we’re preparing it today. But I can assure you, the famed tacos al pastor flavor will shine through with zesty boldness.
You may remember, this fall our family spend some time in Mexico over Thanksgiving break.
While most American families were enjoying their roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing and gravy, we were feasting on grilled caribbean lobster, tamales, and tacos al pastor.
I have eaten more than my fair share of tacos over the years. I’ve been on taco tours in various US cities and, sort of, created my own taco tour while we were in Mexico. Of all the tacos I love and crave, Tacos al Pastor is at the top of the list.
A special chile blend and rotisserie style cooking is what makes a Tacos al Pastor Recipe so unique. From my understanding, the pit-grilled cooking method was introduced by middle-eastern immigrants and has been used in central Mexico ever since. The beloved Tacos al Pastor can now be found all over Mexico and in taco shops world-wide.
If you want to make them at home, but don’t have an outdoor rotisserie, don’t worry.
I’ve found you can use a traditional al pastor marinade on sliced pork, then sear it in a hot skillet to achieve a similar “crispy yet juicy” quality.
Then pile the crispy bits of pork into a tortilla and top with fresh pico de gallo and diced pineapple!
Traditionally, soft corn tortillas are used for a Tacos al Pastor Recipe, but I’m not a big fan of soft corn tortillas unless they are homemade. I find they often have a slightly funky aroma – That’s because soft corn tortillas turn rancid very quickly. I don’t trust them, unless made from scratch on the day I’m serving them.
So today I’m serving Tacos al Pastor in my favorite crunchy taco shells, Old El Paso Super Stuffers.
These larger-than-average crunchy corn tacos shells have been fried to golden perfection. The shells are thinner than regular store-bought shells, so they don’t seem tough, yet are strong enough to hold up to wet fillings. They provide a light corn flavor and fabulous crunch to any taco recipe.
The other way I like to serve Tacos al Pastor is gringo-style in flash fried puffy flour tortillas.
Whether you prefer soft pillowy flour tortillas or crunchy corn shells, fill them with the seared pork and fresh cool toppings, for a flavor and texture fiesta in your mouth.
Tacos al Pastor
- 2 pounds pork loin roast
- 3 dried guajillo chiles substitute anaheims or new mexico chiles
- 2 dried ancho chiles
- 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 4 cloves garlic (large) peeled
- 1 onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple divided
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon acchiote optional (provide a vibrant red color)
- 2 boxes Old El Paso Super Stuffer Crunchy Tortilla Shells or 2 packages Old El Paso Flour Tortillas for soft tacos
- 1 1/2 cup pico de gallo
- Fresh lime wedges
- Old El Paso Taco Sauce
- Olive oil
- Place the dried chiles in a bowl of boiling water and place a small plate over the top to submerge the chiles. Allow them to soak and soften for at least 10 minutes. Then scoop them out of the water, and remove the stems and seeds.
- While the chiles are soaking, slice the pork roast into thin bite-size pieces. Place all the pork in a large zip bag.
- Add the dried chiles, chipotle chiles, garlic, onion, vinegar, juice, 1 cup chopped pineapple, oregano, cumin, salt and acchiote into the blender. Puree until smooth, then pour over the pork, zip the bag, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The longer the better.
- Once the pork has marinated, place a colander in the sink and pour the pork into the colander to drain. You want it to be well-coated, but eliminate excess moisture for searing. Do not rinse it. Shake a little and drain.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-heat. Once hot, drizzle a little olive oil in the pan, then add a quarter of the pork. Arrange the pork in a single layer, covering the bottom of the pan. Sear for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and repeat with the remaining pork. Keep the cooked pork covered with foil.
- To Serve: Fill crunchy or soft flour tortillas with pork, pico de gallo, and fresh chopped pineapple. Serve with a lime wedge and taco sauce if desired.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Old El Paso. All opinions are my own.