I’ve eaten a lot of tacos in my life and one of my favourites, hands down, are tacos al pastor. The combination of crispy charred pork and sweet roasted pineapples in a warmed corn tortilla can’t be beat. Unfortunately you can’t really do traditional tacos al pastor at home, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying.
Al pastor are the Mexican take on kebabs–they’re grilled in a similar fashion on a twirling kebab spit. A giant cone of pork is roasted with a vertical boiler. The pork is sliced to order-usually, you’ll get a mix of the charred, crispy bits and the tender insides. After the pork is sliced, they’ll do a bit of fancy knife work and slice off a piece of roasted pineapple, fling it through the air and catch it on your taco.
Most people don’t have a vertical broiler at home, but with a bit of specialty shopping, you too can create a tasty version of tacos al pastor–no pineapple flinging skills needed.
Tacos al Pastor Recipe adapted from rickbayless.com
yield: 20 tacos
- 3 1/2 ounce package achiote paste
- 3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, plus 4 tablespoons canning sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced pork shoulder
- 1 cup pineapple
- diced onion
- chopped cilantro
- 20 warmed corn tortillas
In a blender, combine the achiote paste, chilies, canning sauce, oil and 3/4 cups water. Blend until smooth. Marinate the pork slices for at least an hour.
Heat a cast iron skillet with a touch of oil over medium high heat. Grill meat slices in batches until slightly charred and cooked, about a minute a side, moving slices as needed. Remove and keep warm. Grill the pineapple in the same pan over medium heat, until lightly browned. Enjoy the pork and pineapples with the warmed tortillas. Top with onions and cilantro to taste.