Tacos al Pastor
Tacos al Pastor (Spanish for shepherd style tacos) are one of the most popular taco variations throughout Mexico, which are just as wildly popular here in the states. These juicy pork filled tacos are testament of Middle Eastern immigration into Mexico at the turn of the 20th century.
An adaptation of the shawarma, this Mexican classic street food likens the Arabic wrap; but, instead of lamb rotisserie shaved onto pita bread, a tortilla is filled by shaving pork that has slowly been cooked on a vertical spit. Al pastor meat is recognized by its tender, succulent and flavorful reddish pork morsels that result from a marinade blend made of chiles, spices and pineapple. Our recipe simplifies the marinade and does not require the vertical spit. Proclaimed to be the best taco, you too will concur with just one bite!
- 1 c. SALSAOLOGY Ancho Chile & Tamarind Sauce
- 2 lbs. Pork Shoulder, Picnic or Boston Butt
- 1/2 c. Pineapple Chunks, canned in its own juice
- 3 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Achiote Paste*, optional
- Corn Tortillas
- 1 c. Onion, chopped
- 1/2 c. Cilantro, chopped
- Lime Wedges
- Your Favorite Tomatillo Salsa
- Place SALSAOLOGY sauce, pineapple, apple cider vinegar and achiote paste in a blender cup and blend for a minute or until pineapple chunks have been thoroughly pureed with sauce. Set aside.
- Cut pork into 1 inch chunks, and place in a large Ziploc bag. Empty sauce marinade into bag and zip seal. Make sure marinade covers meat entirely. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours minimally. Ideally, refrigerate overnight.
- Heat a large skillet over medium to high heat. Season meat with salt and pork. Working in batches, cook meat. Add sauce marinade with brush while cooking, constantly turning meat, allowing it to cook through and get caramelized. About 15 minutes. Place in bowl and repeat cooking remainder of meat.
- Chop cooked pork into smaller pieces. And set aside in serving bowl.
- Warm tortillas.
- Place al pastor meat on a tortilla. Garnish with onion and cilantro and top with taco salsa.
*Achiote paste is a condiment made from annatto seeds and other spices. While it provides a subtle musky flavor, its main purpose in this recipe is to provide a vibrant red color to the meat. Therefore, it is an optional ingredient for this recipe. You can find the paste packages in most Latin markets.