Al Pastor


Created by Kari Ray

Mexican cuisine has made the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, meaning that the cultural heritage of this food is so important that it is protected. Made mostly with ingredients native to the land, Mexican cuisine, like others has been inspired by outside cultures. Tacos al Pastor serves as a great example.

Tacos Al Pastor is a Mexican legend. Created by Lebanese immigrants who combined Mexican ingredients with Middle Eastern cooking styles. These tacos combine the Mexican flavors of pork, chiles and pineapple with the Lebanese cooking style…food fusion at it’s best.

The best part is, this recipe teaches you how achieve the authentic taste of these well loved tacos right in your own home.


  • 2 1/2-to 3-pound (1.25 kilos) boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon guajillo chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 or 2 small chipotle chiles and 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 large can pineapple slices, drained
  • Corn tortillas




  1. Cut pork loin into ½ inch slices. (It may help to place pork into the freezer for 15 minutes to aid in achieving thin cuts)
  2. In a blender, add orange juice and next 8 ingredients (through chipotle chiles and sauce). Blend until well combined.
  3. Place pork in large resealable plastic bag. Add marinade and seal bag, releasing excess air. Mix to coat. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
  4. Meanwhile, finely chop red onion and place in a bowl. Add cilantro and toss to combine.
  5. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat).
  6. Grill pineapple until warm and slightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes per side.
  7. Grill pork until slightly charred and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer pineapple and pork to work surface; chop pineapple into 1/2-inch cubes. Chop pork.
  8. Grill tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 10 seconds per side. Place in a tortilla warmer or a kitchen towel until ready to serve.


To Serve

Serve hot; layering the pork, pineapple and onion/cilantro mix on a tortilla.


Alternatively, on a foil lined baking tray broil the pork in a 400˚F (200˚C) oven until slightly charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Char pineapples in a hot, dry skillet, 2-3 minutes per side.

30 minutes
30 minutes
1 hour *plus marinating time
1/2 cup
6 servings
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