Mexican Tacos al Pastor features succulent marinated pork slow-cooked to perfection, nestled in a corn tortilla and adorned with a delightful slice of sweet pineapple, all customizable with your favourite toppings! Experience the perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavours!
Who doesn’t love a good spicy taco with a touch of sweetness to it? Mexican Tacos al Pastor means shepherd’s tacos in Spanish, which are pork-based tacos from Middle Mexico. The method used to cook the pork is based on Middle Eastern Kebab’s rotating grills. Therefore, the Lebanese immigrants inspired Mexicans and basically made their version of Shawarma. They’ve changed the veal for pork and added chilli peppers and a welcomed touch of sweet pineapple! Delicious stuff! This version is braised pork meat finished in the oven since the traditional rotating roasting method isn’t possible at home.
Homemade Corn Tortilla
I got inspired and bought myself a tortilla press to practice my homemade corn tortillas because there is nothing like the real deal! So, to make this dough, you need to pour water bit by bit into the corn flour until it makes a play dough consistency. Afterwards, cut the dough into 20 pieces and keep them under a wet towel while you press them. To prevent them from drying up.
Use a piece of parchment paper in your press or plastic to prevent the dough from sticking to the press. Once done, add them to a little basket covered with a wet towel.
What Piece of Pork is used?
The usual piece used for Taco al Pastor is the shoulder, although this cut isn’t always available, and since I’m a big fan of pork cheeks, I’ve used a mix of ribs and cheeks. It gives pulled pork all the flavour and tenderness you desire! You can use the shoulder part if you are lucky enough to find it!
What is Chipotle Adobo?
This recipe calls for Chipotle en Adobo, which is a can of ripe smoked jalapeno chilli peppers in a marinade, Adobo, in Spanish. Originally used to preserve food, this sauce made of paprika, vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and herbs is used today in various dishes like Tacos al Pastor. This particular adobo is mixed with tomato, making it smoky and buttery.
Other Mexican-Inspired Recipes
Tacos al Pastor
- Tortilla Press
- 500 g corn flour
- 325 ml water (lukewarm)
- 1 tsp salt
- 500 g pork cheek
- 500 g pork ribs
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 250 ml orange juice (or pineapple juice)
- 250 ml chicken broth
- 150 ml brown beer (Negra Modelo or chicken broth)
- 4 chipotle peppers (conserves with adobo sauce)
- 3 tbsp adobo sauce
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp oregano
- salt and pepper
- Blend onion, garlic, Chipotle chiles, adobo, spices, vinegar and orange juice.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven, at medium-high heat, and sear the pork pieces.
- Once all sides are brown, add the beer and deglaze.
- Add the spice paste to the meat and top with broth or water until the meat is well covert.
- Bring to a simmer, then add to oven and cook for 3 hours at 180°C (350F°).
- Take the meat out, and let the leftover juice on medium-high heat to reduce (get thicker) until it becomes a light paste.
- Cool the meat before shredding it with your fingers or forks, getting rid of all the bones and cartilage.
- Once the sauce is thick enough, add the shredded meat back in the pan.
- Mix it up, cover and reserve.
- Add the salt to the corn flour.
- Incorporate slowly the lukewarm water.
- Knead it until elastic, not sticky, and add more water if it’s too dry.
- In a tortilla press, (or you can use a simple rolling pin), add a baking sheet or plastic wrap, to prevent the tortillas from sticking to the press
- Make small 3-4cm (2 inches) balls and press them the thinnest possible.
- Add them to a non-stick pan, medium-high heat, for a minute on each side.
- Cut thin, small slices of fresh pineapple.