- 2 pounds (900g) boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons achiote paste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (any non-flavored oil will work)
- 1 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into rings or chunks
- 1 red onion, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
- Corn tortillas (or flour tortillas)
- Diced onions
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- In a bowl, prepare the marinade by combining the achiote paste, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, pineapple juice, vinegar, and vegetable oil. Mix until combined.
Use a sharp knife to slice pork into thin slices—place in a large mixing bowl or resealable plastic bag.
Add the thinly sliced pork shoulder to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the meat for 7 to 8 minutes per side or until the outer layer of meat is slightly charred. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center of the largest piece should read at least 145°F.
Transfer the pork to a platter or baking sheet and grill the onion and pineapple slices on both sides until slightly charred, about 5 minutes per side.
Place meat on a cutting board and slice it into thin pieces. Cut pineapple and onions into bite-size pieces.
Warm the corn tortillas on a dry skillet or grill for a few seconds on each side until pliable.
Place a few slices of cooked pork, grilled pineapple, and red onion onto each warm corn tortilla to assemble the tacos. Top with diced onions, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.
Serve the tacos al pastor immediately and enjoy the delicious flavors!
Note: Adjust cook time depending on the meat slices' thickness and desired char level on the pineapple and onions. Keep an eye on them while grilling to prevent overcooking or burning.
Marinating Time: Give the pork enough time to marinate for maximum flavor. Overnight marination is recommended, but if you're short on time, aim for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
Thin Slices: Slice the pork shoulder into thin, uniform slices. This allows for quicker and more even cooking, ensuring that the meat remains tender and juicy.
Achiote Paste: Achiote paste is a key ingredient for the distinct flavor of al pastor. Look for authentic achiote paste, which can be found in Latin American grocery stores or online. It provides the characteristic red color and earthy taste to the marinade.
Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice not only adds sweetness but also helps to tenderize the meat. Its natural enzymes break down proteins, resulting in a more tender and flavorful final dish.
Grilling Techniques: If grilling outdoors, use a medium-high heat to achieve a nice char on the meat. For stove-top cooking, use a hot skillet to sear the meat and create a similar effect.
Charred Pineapple and Onion: When grilling the pineapple and onion, aim for some charring to enhance their flavors. The slight caramelization adds a delicious smoky and sweet element to the tacos.
Proper Tortillas: Use fresh, high-quality corn tortillas for an authentic touch. Warm them slightly on a dry skillet or grill to make them pliable and enhance their flavor.
- Prep Time: 10 min + chill time
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Savory
- Method: Mexican
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: tacos al pastor, pork, main dish, mexican food