Tacos al Pastor

If you have read just a few of my blogs, you already know my affinity for the swine. Well recently I came across a great blog called No Recipes that has a very inventive and delicious looking take on a Mexican classic, Tacos al Pastor. So as I sit here watching No Reservations, I thought I would share my take on this no recipe.



I got started with the marinade. It utilizes fresh pineapple to tenderize and sweeten the pork butt.


Take about a cup of the pineapple, a sweet onion, garlic, a couple of chipotles in adobo, some cinnamon, oregano, salt, pepper, vinegar, and paprika and put in a bowl. To that add in a couple ancho chiles and a couple New Mexico red chiles that have been rehydrated in water with a bay leaf.


 Pull out the bay leaf and add the peppers to the other goodies. I hit with an immersion blender until fairly smooth.


I accidentally bought a bone in pork butt. So I boned it and then tossed in the freezer. After about 45 minutes it becomes a lot easier to slice. I sliced from the fat cap down in slices about 1/2 inch thick. Well as close to that as possible. Now take those pieces and slather each and everyone with some of the marinade. Then restack and tie together like a normal roast. The blog linked above suggests not slicing all the way through the roast but this works too.


Tie it up nice and tight so the thing will stay together. Let marinate in the fridge for about an hour.

While that was sitting, I got to work on the salsa verde. On a grill or  in your broiler, char up a sweet onion, some pasilla, jalapeno, and tomatillos.


Almost forgot the garlic. I put about 5 cloves in some foil and roasted those too. When everything cools off enough to handle, scrape off the worst of the char but not all. Then add in some lime juice and a handful of cilantro before buzzing with the immersion blender.


Lets put the pork on the grill. I use indirect heat on high at first. After 30 minutes I turn the grill down to medium and top the pork with some more of that delicious fresh pineapple.


I let this go for about 3 1/2 hours at something like 325F. Basically just let it slowly roast until internal temp reaches 160F.

I also went for making tortillas from scratch. 2 cups masa harina, some salt, and about 1 1/4 cup of warm water. Kneed by hand until it all comes nicely together. Then wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for an hour.


Divide in into 16 equal pieces. Roll into balls and then individually roll out between two pieces of plastic. Or you could use a tortilla press.


Carefully seperate them from the plastic and dry fry in a cast iron skillet for about the time it takes to roll out another one. Flip once and then put them in a dish covered by a towel while you finish the rest.


When your roast is done, pull it off the grill, cover with foil, and allow to rest.


Then pull off some chunks and cut up into smaller chunks. Reheat some tortillas just until they start getting a little color. Top with the pork, some sweet onion, fresh cilantro, and some of that amazing salsa verde.



These are some truly amazing tacos. Very balanced with fresh, smoky, sweet, and a spicy finish that really hit the spot. Be sure to check out No Recipes because this isn’t the only great meal over there.


~ by climbhighak on August 24, 2009.

22 Responses to “Tacos al Pastor”

  1. Love the site. Please keep it up.

  2. Now that looks tasty!

  3. Those tacos look awesome! The salsa verde looks like the perfect complement. Nice job!

  4. this may just be the most perfect recipe ever posted to foodgawker!!

    • Well thanks for that. This morning I crisped up some of the pork and then dressed the tacos as normal with the addition of an overeasy egg. Best breakfast ever.

  5. This is on my upcoming weekend grilling menu! Could you tell me how many pounds of pork butt you bought. Thought this might help me put cooking times and your recommended cooking temps into perspective for my grilling adventure! Thanks … Debbie

    • I think the pork butt was 4.8 lbs with the bone in. I then boned it so it was probably around 4.3 lbs boneless. When grilling, just use indirect heat and go low and slow. You could just as easily do it at 250 F for 6-8 hours and it would taste every bit as delicious.

  6. That whole meal looks like heaven! Love it.

  7. Robert, I saw that same recipe on the No Recipes blog, and bookmarked. What a surprise to see you made it 0 and let me tell you, mouth watering is an understatement. It’s so hard to look at your photos because I get so hungry and crave whatever you make!

    On another note – totally agree with what you said in the forum, but I’ll email you to touch on that.

  8. This looks so good…just like the rest of your recipes! Yummy!

  9. I love everything! I’ve got to make this before grilling season ends. I love your ball of dough w/ the even/equal division. At a glance it looked like peeled mangosteen becoz of the division of the dough,,it also looked like a bulb of garlic.

  10. Wow, Wow, Wow! I have been craving Mexican but nothing like that crossed my mind. Now nothing but that will do!!

    Great job!

  11. Looks SO good!!!

  12. Great looking tacos al pastor!

  13. You’re killing me here. Those look so damn good.

  14. Robert, this is fabuluos. The photos make me want to just taste the juiciness of the succulent meat. The salsa verde is … oh heavenly. And making your own tortillas. WOW!!! KUDOS!

  15. […] During the 12-18 hours of slow braising, I decided to make a few salsas. First was a grilled tomatillo salsa verde that you can find here.  Tacos Al Pastor […]

  16. I am going to have to make home made corn tortillas. Thank you

  17. Well, just look at you! I visit a local restaurant called El Agave and have fallen in lust with these tacos! I was surfing the net for recipes and here I am, again. Your version is the one to beat. Great post.

  18. I LOVEEE tacos al pastor! The weather is finally warm enough to fire up the grill, I will be making these tonight!!!

  19. This recipe was awesome! I can’t wait to make it this weekend for cinco de mayo!!! Yummm 🙂

  20. thank you for this recipe, I’ve made it now three times and I LOVE it- about to make it for xmas eve dinner- gracias!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: