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Classic Mexican Tacos al Pastor

This delicious recipe is based on grilled marinated pork, which is then served on corn tortillas. This is a typical dish from Central Mexico. The pork is marinated in a pineapple and chili mixture. The pineapple helps to tenderize the meat while the other spices add that distinctive south of the border flair. Although the original recipe calls for spit-roasted pork, we are cooking pork loin on the barbeque instead, and it cooks really quickly. If you want to use a tougher cut of meat, by all means go ahead but all yourself sufficient cooking time for it.

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are available from any grocery store but if you cannot find any of the items head to a Latin food store or order online. This recipe is worth making to the letter, so you can expect a truly original flavor, and ensure you are using fresh pineapple and fresh orange juice. Using canned pineapple is not going to offer the spectacular result you will want to experience from this recipe. Perhaps you love tacos, either the kind from the restaurant or your own homemade version, and if so this recipe is worth investigating too.

The pork is marinated in this recipe, for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight if you can plan your tacos al pastor ahead, so you can expect a rich, bold flavor in every bite. The pineapple helps tenderize the meat but it also adds a sweet flavor which contrasts beautifully with the heat from the chilies. To finish the dish, you need to warm some corn tortillas and spoon the chopped pork mixture over them. Then you can add your preferred toppings, perhaps an onion and cilantro based salsa, or some guacamole if you prefer. Lime wedges are a nice accompaniment.

Are you looking for the best Cinco de Mayo recipes or simply browsing the special world of Mexican cuisine? However you got here, take your time reading this recipe and imagining how all those amazing flavors are going to come together. This dish would be instantly recognizable to anyone from Central Mexico, and you will agree the spicy, savory meat comes out really tender after being marinated and barbequed. If you want to serve them with fresh peach and pineapple salsa, for more fruitiness, go ahead, and maybe serve sour cream on the side or some queso fresco.

Tasty Tacos al Pastor Recipe
Summary: This authentic Mexican dish offers succulent pork which is marinated in a sweet-spicy pineapple and chili pepper mixture. Served on corn tortillas, this certainly offers a really delicious meal.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 peeled fresh pineapple, in crosswise ½-inch slices
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup guajillo chili powder
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 halved garlic cloves
  • 2 small canned chipotle chilies
  • 1½ teaspoons adobo from canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican oregano if possible)
  • 2½ - to 3 lbs boneless pork loin, in ½-inch slices
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 corn tortillas, your favorite fruity salsa and 6 lime wedges, to serve
  1. Cut the onion in half and chop one of the halves coarsely.
  2. Set the other half aside.
  3. Chop 2 of the pineapple slices coarsely, then cover and refrigerate the rest.
  4. Put the chopped onion and pineapple in the blender.
  5. Add the orange juice, chili powder, vinegar, salt, garlic, chipotle chilies, adobo, cumin, and oregano.
  6. Puree until smooth.
  7. Put the pork in a large Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade from the blender.
  8. Seal the bag and squeeze out the air.
  9. Refrigerate for between 4 and 24 hours.
  10. Preheat the barbeque to medium-hot.
  11. Grill the rest of the pineapple slices for 5 minutes per side or until lightly charred.
  12. Grill the pork for 2 to 4 minutes per side or until cooked through.
  13. Chop both the pineapple and the pork and toss them together.
  14. Chop the remaining half of the onion and toss it with the cilantro.
  15. Grill the tortillas for a few seconds per side or until warm.
  16. Top the tortillas with the pork mixture and top with the cilantro mixture along with some salsa and lime wedges, if liked.

Photo Description:

Tacos al pastor is as Mexican as you can get, and this dish is famous throughout Central Mexico. If you are bored with your usual tacos, or you simply want a change of pace, consider this delicious recipe which boasts pineapple and chili pepper-marinated pork loin, along with cilantro, onion and soft corn tortillas. This is spicy, savory and sweet all in one, and the smoky aroma from the barbeque gives these an exquisite flavor. There is some work involved in preparing this dish but trust us – it is well worth it. These taste phenomenal!

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,