When your next Mexican food craving kicks in, you'll be thanking the taco gods that you had a taco al pastor recipe handy. Tacos al pastor (roughly translated to "Shepard Tacos") are made from pork meat that has been marinated in a special broth of secret ingredients and then cooked slowly in a rotisserie with pineapple and onion on top. Mexican “taquerias” (places where they sell tacos) serve tacos al pastor in extra-small tortillas, topped with fresh cilantro, chopped onion, grilled pineapple, hot sauce, and a splash of lemon. Although the recipe for tacos al pastor remains secret among “taqueros” in Mexico (they will not share any details) the following recipe will give you a very similar taste. You can even use firm tofu for a vegetarian version. You will also need “achiote,” a paste sold in a small box that dissolves in vinegar. You can find it at any Latin grocery store. Buy one made in Mexico as other versions will give your tacos al pastor a very different flavor.
- 2 Tbsp of achiote paste
- 1 lb. pork meat
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ tsp. oregano
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 cup any kind of beer
- ½ cup pineapple chunks
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- hot sauce of your choice
- corn tortillas
- cooking oil
- 3 lemons
- Place about 2 Tbsp of achiote paste (or 1/3 of the box) in a deep, large container.
- Add the vinegar to the paste and mash it with a fork, until dissolved.
- Add the meat, onion, garlic, cinnamon, oregano, pineapple, and beer to the paste mixture.
- Mix all the ingredients well, cover, and let it marinate for at least 3 hours or for better results, overnight.
- Heat some cooking oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add the marinated meat, cook for about 20 minutes or until the meat gets brown and the pineapple is a little charred.
- Add salt and pepper, if needed.
- Use a pan or a microwave to heat the corn tortillas and spoon the meat over them.
- Add chopped cilantro and onion, hot sauce, and a few drops of fresh lemon.
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