National Soft Taco Day: Tacos al Pastor

October 3, 2014

Today is national soft taco day and to celebrate we’ve got one of my favorite recipes — tacos al pastor!

Grilled Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor

Recently I was at a local traditional taco joint (think a double stack of corn tortillas versus the fried shells we traditionally use at home) enjoying a couple tacos al pastor and wondered if I could replicate that same taste at home.  Now true tacos al pastor feature pork that is marinated then spit roasted and since I (1) didn’t need an entire spit’s worth of pork and (2) don’t own a spit, I took a shortcut and substituted quick-to-grill individual slices of pork butt.  While not 100 percent authentic, the intense flavor of the chili rich marinade was spot on!


2 dried ancho chilies

2 dried guajillo chilies

1 chipotle in adobo sauce + 1 tbsp. adobo

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano

1 tbsp. white vinegar

½ cup orange juice

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp. Kosher salt

2 lbs. thinly sliced boneless pork butt

2 tbsp. canola oil

½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced in to 1 inch rounds

1 red onion, peeled and sliced in to ¼ inch rounds

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Salsa de chipotle cremosa (optional. Available at most specialty food markets)

24 corn tortillas



Soak dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes until softened.  Place chilies, chipotle, adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, vinegar, orange juice, garlic and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Place pork in a zip top bag and coat with the chili marinade.  Refrigerate overnight.

Prepare grill for high heat cooking, approximately 400 degrees.  Remove pork from marinade and wipe off excess marinade.  Place pork on the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes per side until thoroughly cooked.

grilled pork

Grilled Pork

Brush both sides of the pineapple and onions with canola oil and grill until lightly charred.  Roughly chop pork, pineapple and onion.  Cover tortillas with a moist paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds or wrap in tinfoil and grill for 5 minutes until warm.  Serve pork, onion, and pineapple mixture on warm tortillas along with cilantro and salsa de chipotle cremosa.

Tacos al Pastor recipe

Grilled Tacos al Pastor

- Clint Cantwell, Editor

Related Topics: Clint Cantwell | Editor's Picks | Grilled Pork | Grilled Taco Recipe | Grilled Tacos | Grilled Tacos Al Pastor | Pork Tacos | Tacos Al Pastor | Tacos Al Pastor Recipe

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