Tacos Al Pastor Recipe

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
  1. Place about 2 Tbsp of achiote paste (or 1/3 of the box)  in a deep, large container.
  2. Add the vinegar to the paste and mash it with a fork, until dissolved.
  3. Add the meat, onion, garlic, cinnamon, oregano,  pineapple, and beer to the paste mixture.
  4. Mix all the ingredients well, cover, and let it marinate for at least 3 hours or for better results, overnight.
  5. Heat some cooking oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  6. Add the marinated meat, cook for about 20 minutes or until the meat gets brown and the pineapple is a little charred.
  7. Add salt and pepper, if needed.
  8. Use a pan or a microwave to heat the corn tortillas and spoon the meat over them.
  9. Add chopped cilantro and onion, hot sauce, and a few drops of fresh lemon.
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