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Tacos al Pastor Recipe

Tacos al Pastor Recipe


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Ingredients

  • 1 large white onion, halved
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup guajillo chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 large or 2 small chipotle chiles and 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 2 1/2-to 3-pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Smoky Two-Chile Salsa (click for recipe)

Recipe Preparation

  • Coarsely chop 1 onion half. Coarsely chop 2 pineapple rounds, discarding core; cover and chill remaining pineapple. Place chopped onion and chopped pineapple in blender. Add orange juice and next 7 ingredients; puree marinade until smooth. Place pork in large resealable plastic bag. Add marinade and seal bag, releasing excess air. Turn to coat. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

  • Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill remaining pineapple until warm and slightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Grill pork with some marinade still clinging 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, discarding cores. Chop pork. Transfer to platter; toss to combine.

  • Meanwhile, finely chop remaining onion half and place in medium bowl. Add cilantro; toss to combine. Grill tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 10 seconds per side.

  • Serve pork-pineapple mixture with onion-cilantro relish, Smoky Two-Chile Salsa, and lime wedges.

Recipe by Steven Raichlen,Reviews Section

Tacos al Pastor

According to Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman, short of investing in a vertical broiler, this hack is the closest you&rsquoll get to al pastor tacos at home. We tend to think of pork shoulder as something that needs to be braised, but a well-butchered shoulder steak given a swift ride on a ripping hot grill can be a thing of beauty&mdashthe wide surface area means more of that good Maillard char you want from al pastor. Take your time when slicing the finished meat: thin, bias-cut slivers are the ideal texture here.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil for the grill
  • 1 cup adobo
  • Four 1&frasl2-inch-thick boneless pork shoulder steaks (2 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt as needed
  • 12 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1&frasl4 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 24 even slices
  • 1&frasl2 medium white onion, minced
  • 60 cilantro leaves (from about 15 sprigs), roughly chopped
  • 2 limes, each cut into 6 wedges for serving for serving

Method

Make the filling: preheat a grill to the hottest possible setting and brush it with vegetable oil. Slather about 1 cup of the adobo all over the pork steaks and season liberally with salt. Place the pork steaks on the hot grill and cook for 3 minutes. Rotate the steaks 45 degrees and cook them for another 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook the steaks for 3 minutes. The finished steaks should have visible charred grill marks. Remove the steaks from the grill, transfer them to a plate, and set aside to rest in a warm place.

While the pork is resting, make one batch of tortillas and hold them warm.

Cut the pork steaks against the grain and on the bias&mdashyou want the slices to be as thin as possible, almost shaved, to achieve the right tenderness and texture for al pastor.

Assemble the tacos: lay out the warm tortillas on serving plates. Evenly distribute the grilled pork and the pineapple slices among the tortillas. Top with some of the salsa roja and raw salsa verde, along with the minced onion and chopped cilantro. Squeeze a couple of the lime wedges over the tacos and serve the rest on the side.

Recipe reprinted from Tacos: Recipes and Provocations by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman. Copyright ©2015 by Empellon Holdings LLC. Photos by Evan Sung. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


Nutritional

  • Serving Size: 1 (346.1 g)
  • Calories 438.5
  • Total Fat - 16.7 g
  • Saturated Fat - 5.8 g
  • Cholesterol - 129.5 mg
  • Sodium - 867.1 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 26.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3 g
  • Sugars - 15.8 g
  • Protein - 44.5 g
  • Calcium - 46.1 mg
  • Iron - 1.9 mg
  • Vitamin C - 13.2 mg
  • Thiamin - 1 mg

Step 1

Coarsely chop 1 onion half. Coarsely chop 2 pineapple rounds, discarding core cover and chill remaining pineapple. Place chopped onion and chopped pineapple in blender. Add orange juice and next 7 ingredients puree marinade until smooth. Place pork in large resealable plastic bag. Add marinade and seal bag, releasing excess air. Turn to coat. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Step 2

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill remaining pineapple until warm and slightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Grill pork with some marinade still clinging 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, discarding cores. Chop pork. Transfer to platter toss to combine.

Step 3

Meanwhile, finely chop remaining onion half and place in medium bowl. Add cilantro toss to combine. Grill tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 10 seconds per side.

Step 4

Serve pork-pineapple mixture with onion-cilantro relish, Smoky Two-Chile Salsa (separate recipe posted on this site), and lime wedges.


It’s time to get cooking!

To get started, you will bring the guajillo chiles, chiles de árbol, and two cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, remove from heat and let it sit for 30 minutes to let the chiles soften.

While this is happening, you’ll have plenty else to do! Place the pork in a large bowl. Purée chiles and soaking liquid, garlic, vinegar, sugar, achiote paste, 3 oz. salt, half of the pineapple, and half of the onion in a blender until smooth, which will probably take about two minutes. Pour this delicious mixture over the pork, stirring to coat thoroughly. Cover and chill for anywhere from three to a full twelve hours.

If using a gas grill, prepare for medium-high heat. If you are using a charcoal grill, prepare for two zones of heat, medium-high and low. Grill the remaining pineapple over medium-high heat, turning once, until charred, which should take about six or eight minutes. Finely chop the pineapple and combine with habanero chiles, mint, lime juice, and remaining onion in a small bowl. Season with salt, cover it and put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Now, reduce the grill heat to low. If you are using a charcoal grill, use the low-zone heat. Remove the pork from its marinade and grill until marinade on pork has dried and begins to caramelize and char. This will take about 12 minutes per side. Transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes.

While the pork is resting, grill the tortillas until soft and beginning to char, which will only take about 30 seconds per side. Slice the pork against the grain into ¼” strips. Top each tortilla with a few pieces of pork and some pineapple salsa. You’re all done! The first bite will tell you it has all been worth it!


Tacos al Pastor are a favorite in Mexico and Mexican restaurants throughout the world for good reason: The mixture of smoky, spicy chiles, sweet pineapples and fresh onions and cilantro is taco perfection.

Traditionally, Tacos al Pastor are made by marinating pork in chile sauce, layering the meat on a vertical rotisserie, adorning with a pineapple and roasting slowly for hours a process that’s almost impossible to replicate at home. So we’ve taken the delicious, authentic flavors that make these tacos so special, and adapted the recipe for your home kitchen, so you can enjoy whenever a craving strikes!


Recipe Summary

  • 4 dried guajillo chiles (about 1 ounce)
  • 1 dried ancho chile
  • 2 dried chipotle chiles
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup Coca-Cola
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon annatto seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grilling
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • Grilled pineapple, chopped red onion and cilantro, for serving

Stem and seed all of the dried chiles and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with water and microwave at high power until softened, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then drain and transfer to a blender. Add the orange juice, lime juice, soda and vinegar. In a spice grinder, grind the annatto with the oregano, cumin, clove, sugar and garlic powder until fine. Add the spice mixture to the blender and blend until smooth.

Transfer the marinade to a saucepan. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until very thick, about 5 minutes let cool. Transfer the marinade to a large resealable plastic bag. Add the pork and onion and seal the bag. Refrigerate overnight.

Light a grill. Remove the pork and onion from the marinade and scrape most of it off. Brush the pork and onion with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until the meat is cooked through, 15 minutes. Transfer the pork and onion to a work surface, cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes.

Cut the pork into strips. Serve the pork and onion with the warmed tortillas, grilled pineapple, red onion and cilantro.


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Al pastor (or “shepherd’s style”) is pork that’s been marinated in chile and spit-grilled. The traditional Mexican method has slabs of pork marinated for one to two days in a chile sauce, then stacked on a spit and slowly cooked using a gas flame. A pineapple is placed on top of the spit, the juices of which drip down the pork, tenderizing and flavoring the meat. Since most home cooks don’t have access to a spit, we’ve adapted the technique for the home grill. The results come deliciously close to the real deal. The tacos are just small tortillas filled with the meat and topped with a warm slice of pineapple, fresh cilantro, and onion.

What to buy: Chile negro (also called a pasilla chile or pasilla negro) is the dried version of the chilaca chile. It can be purchased at most Mexican grocers or online. Note that ancho chiles are often mislabeled as pasillas. If you cannot find chile negro, you can use ancho chiles or mulato chiles instead.

Mexican oregano (a relative of lemon verbena) can be found in Latin markets or the Latin section of your supermarket.

Game plan: If you can, make the marinade the day before, coat the pork in it, and refrigerate overnight. If you are pinched for time, you can marinate the meat for less time, but no less than 4 hours.

This recipe was featured as part of our No-Fail Mexican Favorites for Cinco de Mayo.


How to make tacos al pastor

One delicious product of escaping Ottoman tyranny is Tacos Al Pastor (“Shepherd Style”), which is based on the spit-grilled meat (also known as shawarma) that the Lebanese brought to Mexico. It combines all the smoky, meaty richness of Middle Eastern cooking with the spiciness beloved by the Mexican palette. Of course, we swapped out the meat for tofu in this recipe, but don't let that fool you! The blandness of tofu that puts people off is also the protein’s greatest asset because it adopts whatever flavors you cook it with. Which is why we were liberal with the chili powder blend, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Then we whipped together a salsa with fresh pineapple, tomato, avocado, cilantro and lime juice, and some quick pickled red onions to top the tacos. Simple, easy, and delish.

For our Vegan Tacos Al Pastor, we used Maria & Ricardo’s new Whole Wheat Plus Tortillas, which are non-GMO, made from scratch with avocado oil, and are packed with fiber and protein. Most importantly, they are the perfect, pillowy-soft canvas for your culinary work of art.
Wanna make these tacos gluten-free? You have got to try their (also new) Quinoa Flour Tortillas. We tested the recipe with these also, and they're amazing! They're both available now on Amazon and Whole Foods stores nationwide so, go grab some!

You guys, if you're not familiar with Maria & Ricardo's, they are, by far, our favorite tortillas. For starters, they have a huge selection to choose from, and each one is better than the next! We've always been huge fans, and when we met them at Expo West this year and discovered some of their new products (and you all know we're suckers for new products), we couldn't wait to partner up with them to create some deliciousness.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we did. We'd love to hear your thoughts so, feel free to share!


Gallery

  • FOR THE PORK
  • 5 GOYA® Guajillo Chilles
  • 5 GOYA Pasilla Chiles or GOYA Ancho Chiles
  • 1 chipotle chile from 1 can (7 oz.) GOYA Chipotle Chile in Adobo Sauce
  • 1 medium white onion, halved
  • 1 GOYA Pineapple Chunks
  • ¼ cup GOYA White Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons GOYA Minced Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon GOYA Cumin
  • GOYA Adobo with Pepper, to taste
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless pork butt, cut into ½&rdquo cubes
  • 2 tablespoons GOYA® Vegetable Oil
  • FOR THE GARNISH
  • 1 GOYA Corn Tortillas, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Bring 2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add guajillo and pasilla chiles. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until chiles soften, about 10 minutes transfer to plate. Remove and discard stem and seeds. Meanwhile, coarsely chop one onion half reserve remaining half. Strain pineapples reserve juice and fruit separately.

Transfer guajillo, pasilla and chipotle chiles, chopped onion half, reserved pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic and cumin to bowl of food processor. Puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer chile mixture to saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring chile mixture to a boil cook until paste looses raw onion taste, about 2 minutes. season with adobo cool. In large container with lid, or in large ziptop bag, combine pork cubes, cooled chile marinade and reserved pineapple chunks transfer to refrigerator. Marinate at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Strain pork and pineapples, discarding marinade. Add pork and pineapples to skillet. Cook in batches until dark golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes transfer to large serving plate.

Meanwhile, finely slice remaining onion half. Transfer sliced onion to bowl with cilantro.

Serve pork and pineapple mixture in warm tortillas. Garnish pork tacos with cilantro, onions and limes.