Mexican Tacos al Pastor features succulent marinated pork slowly cooked to perfection, nestled in a corn tortilla and covered with a delightful slice of pineapple. All toppings are customizable, so you can experience the perfect combo of sweet and spicy!

Who doesn’t love a good spicy taco with a touch of sweetness? Mexican Tacos al Pastor, which means shepherd’s tacos in Spanish, are pork-based tacos from Middle Mexico. The method used to cook the pork is based on Middle Eastern kebabs’ 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!

Of course, for this version, no rotating grill could be used. So we’ve braised the pork meat and finished it slowly in the oven to mimic it. If you want to mimic this grilled effect from the kebabs, simply broil the pork at the end of the cooking process.

Mexican Tacos al Pastor

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! If you want to venture this way too, below is the recipe. To make this corn 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. Again to keep them moist and flexible.

Tacos al Pastor

What Piece of Pork is used?

The usual piece used for Taco al Pastor is the shoulder, although this cut isn’t always available. 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! They all need a long and slow cooking to turn the collagen into gelatine and become tender like butter.

Mexican Tacos al Pastor

What is Chipotle Adobo?

This recipe calls for Chipotle en Adobo, a can of ripe smoked jalapeno chilli peppers in a marinade called 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 this one. This particular adobo is mixed with tomato, making it smoky and buttery.

Toppings

It is usually served with small pieces of fresh pineapple, fresh cilantro, and lime. I’ve added a smooth touch of guacamole, but a mango pico de gallo would be fantastic here, too.

Storage

If you want to make the Mexican Tacos al Pastor feast continue, you can easily keep the pork in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Or if you want to keep it for later use, it also keeps well in the freezer.

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Tacos al Pastor

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 20 small tacos
Calories 212
A homemade Mexican, soft-shell corn taco with spiced-up pork slowly cooked to perfection, covered with a sweet piece of pineapple and whatever toppings you prefer! Sweet and Spicy at its best!

Equipment

  • Tortilla Press

Ingredients

Corn Tortillas

  • 500 g corn flour
  • 325 ml water (lukewarm)
  • 1 tsp salt

Shredded Pork

  • 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

Toppings

  • pineapple
  • Guacamole
  • cilantro
  • lime

Instructions 

The Meat

  • 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.

Corn Tortillas

  • 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.

Toppings

  • Cut thin, small slices of fresh pineapple.

Notes

Serve the shredded meat, homemade corn tortillas and toppings separately on the table and let everyone make their tacos. Enjoy!
Author: Marie Breton
Calories: 212kcal
Course: main, Plato principal
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chipotle, corn tortilla, homemade, mexican, minced pork, taco, tacos al pastor

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 666mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Facts
Tacos al Pastor
Amount per Serving
Calories
212
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
10
g
15
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Trans Fat
 
0.1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
28
mg
9
%
Sodium
 
666
mg
29
%
Potassium
 
206
mg
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
23
g
8
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
8
g
16
%
Vitamin A
 
42
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
7
mg
8
%
Calcium
 
54
mg
5
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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