Tacos al Pastor

December 12, 2022

Al pastor also known as tacos al pastor, is a taco made with spit-grilled pork. It is a popular street food that has spread to the United States and combines the savory and sweet flavors of pork and pineapple.

Ingredients for Achiote Paste

  • 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup annatto seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 CUP orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions for Achiote Paste

  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat oil.
  2. Add annatto seeds, coriander, cumin, oregano, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and allspice berries and toast until fragrant, 1 minute.
  3. In a food processor or blender, add toasted seeds, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, and salt.
  4. Blend until it turns into a mostly smooth paste, scraping down sides as needed.

Ingredients for the Pork

  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for grilling
  • 3 dried seedless guajillo chilis
  • 3 dried seedless chiles de arbol
  • 1/3 Cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 Cup achiote paste
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, sliced 1/2″ thick

For your tacos

  • Pineapple rings
  • Red onion slices
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Freshly chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Directions for tacos

  1. In a small frying pan over medium heat, heat oil.
  2. Add chilis and toast until slightly charred and fragrant, 1 minute.
  3. In a food processor or blender, add toasted chilis, pineapple juice, achiote paste, vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and pepper.
  4. Blend until fully combined.
  5. Place pork in a large bowl and pour marinade over. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours and up to overnight. 
  6. Preheat grill to medium-high and brush with oil.
  7. Grill pork until slightly charred and cooked through, 6 minutes per side.
  8. Let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes then cut into 1″ pieces.
  9. Add pineapple and onions to grill and cook until slightly charred and onion is softened, 3 minutes per side.
  10. Break pineapple rings into large pieces.
  11. Add tortillas to grill and cook until warmed, 1 minute per side.
  12. On warmed tortillas, add pork, pineapple, onions, and cilantro.
  13. Serve with lime wedges.
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