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Easy, succulent and tasty tacos al pastor. A truly delicious example of what makes Mexican cuisine my favorite food. Think you can only get this tasty traditional treat in Mexico, think again. I have created a perhaps shortened cooking version, but just as mouthwateringly delicious.
I have eaten tacos al pastor or shepherds tacos all over creation. The best I have had are the not too fancy ones created in Mexico. The simple cylinder spit that goes around and chars the meat just enough to keep it moist and savory. My mouth is watering just writing about them.
Lucky for me I live in California. Mexico is no stranger to me. It’s just a hop, skip and a jump away. But I do from time to time like to have tacos al pastor without a trek to Old Mexico, even though I love going there. So, I devised a couple of recipes that while not adhering to the traditional cooking method, turn out simply divine and yummy tacos.
In the first method, I use thinly sliced pork tender loin. I marinate it an cook it on the barbecue. The second method is created with shredded pork shoulder or pork butt fully cooked and then sauteed in a skillet with the marinade.
Tacos Al Pastor
- 1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks in juice
- 2 dried guajillo or ancho chiles, or a combination of both
- 3 cloves or garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbs achiote paste from a brick or ground achiote seasoning
- 1 pork tenderloin (tenderloins usually about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs and the package usually contains 2 pieces, I use both of them) place the uncut loins in the freezer for about 30 minutes for easier slicing
- 2 tsps cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbs of water and set aside
- 12 corn or small flour tortillas
- red onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- sour cream
- Drain the pineapples and place juice in a small saucepan with about 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Add chiles and let them soak for about 30 minutes.
- When chiles are softened, remove stems. Place chiles and soaking liquid in blender. Add 1/4 cup of the pineapple chunks, garlic, oregano, vinegar and achiote paste. Puree until smooth. Cover and place remaining pineapple chunks in refrigerator for later use.
- Remove pork from the freezer and slice in 1/8th to 1/4 inch slices, depending on your preference. Place pork slices in a plastic resealable bag. Pour the marinade over meat and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to overnight.
- Prepare grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, boil used marinade for about 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch and water mixture. Simmer on low until thickened. Grill meat about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Watch them close because they are thin and will cook quickly. When done, plate meat and pour glaze over the top. Cut up the remaining pineapple chunks and serve over the meat, if desired. Spoon meat into tortillas and top with onion, cilantro and sour cream.
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