Tacos Al Pastor

By Ricardo Amare del Castillo

Tacos Al Pastor

Tacos Al Pastor. Tacos Al Pastor are a traditional version of this popular Mexican dish. 


Pastor Sauce

1 tomato

3 guajillo chilies, deseeded

2 Chiles de Arbol deseeded

2 chipotle peppers

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 onion, roughly diced

50 ml (1¾ fl oz) white vinegar

110 ml (3¾ fl oz) orange juice

200 g (7 oz) pineapple, roughly cut

3 cloves

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground oregano

1 teaspoon salt

800 g (1 lb 10 oz) pork loin, cut into thin fillets

4 flour tortillas

80 g (2¾ oz) coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped

1 white onion, julienne

80 g (2¾ oz) pineapple


To make the pastor sauce, blister the tomato skin over a flame until it has burned and begins to peel, about 10 minutes. Peel, cut in half and discard seeds.

Add the guajillo and Chiles de Arbol chilies to a saucepan with 2 cups of water and boil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chipotle peppers, garlic, onion, vinegar, orange juice, pineapple, cloves, cumin, oregano, the roasted tomatoes and Chiles de Arbol. In a blender, purée to a smooth sauce and chill for 15 minutes.

To prepare the meat, place in a bowl and cover with the sauce. Marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours.

Heat a frypan on the stovetop, add the meat and cook by turning it continuously and until it is cooked through and lightly browned.

Heat tortillas in the oven for 1–2 minutes. Alternatively, heat a frypan and add the tortillas, one at a time. Cook for 1–2 minutes each side. Keep warm while you heat the rest of the tortillas.

Cut the pineapple for serving into bite-sized pieces. Serve the pork over tortillas and sprinkle with coriander, onion and pineapple.


Note: Pastor in Mexican means shepherd. So Tacos al Pastor literally translates to ‘tacos in the style of the shepherd. Traditionally this dish is made by spit-grilling the meat and pineapple. However, it can be cooked in a frypan to create authentic-tasting tacos al pastor. Originating in central Mexico, Lebanese immigrants brought their method of cooking meat with them – the shawarma spit-grilling process.


TACOS by Ricardo Amare del Castillo.

New Holland Publishers RRP $39.99 available from all good bookstores or online


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