Tacos al Pastor – Time of the Tailgate

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

That’s right, football is here and with it, the Time of the Tailgate has arrived once again. Whether in a stadium parking lot, on a neighborhood street by the local field, or in your own backyard, we bring you terrific game day recipes to prepare for the big game. Next up is Tacos al Pastor, an easy take on classic Mexican street food that can be prepped ahead and quickly grilled wherever the party takes place. These tacos are full of flavor, featuring sweet and spicy marinated pork with grilled pineapple, grilled red onion, and warmed tortillas.

Begin with boneless pork shoulder sliced into ¼” thick slices, and marinate in a combination of spices, pineapple juice, white vinegar, achiote paste, and guajillo chiles. Grilling ½” slices of fresh pineapple and red onion for a couple minutes until slightly charred adds mesquite flavor and texture to compliment the sweetness. Once grilled, slice the pork, pineapple, and onion into small strips, and combine in a bowl for serving on warmed tortillas. With complex flavors and textures, these tacos will be a tailgate favorite for fanatic fans and family. So load up the truck and fire up the grill, it’s football time again!

Serves: 4

Tacos al Pastor Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for brushing
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 guajillo chiles—stemmed, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • Sea salt
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 medium pineapple, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • Warm corn tortillas, chopped cilantro and lime wedges, for serving

Tacos al Pastor Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the oregano, cumin, pepper and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chiles and cook, stirring, until blistered in spots, about 30 seconds. Add the pineapple juice, vinegar and achiote paste and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the chile mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt. Scrape the marinade into a large, sturdy plastic bag. Add the pork and turn to coat. Set the bag in a small baking dish and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Light a grill. Brush the pineapple and onion with oil. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a carving board and tent with foil.
  4. Remove the pork from the marinade. Grill over high heat until lightly charred and just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Cut the pineapple, onion and pork into thin strips and transfer to a bowl. Season with salt. Serve with corn tortillas, chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

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