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Tacos "Al Pastor"


Tacos "Al Pastor" are a favorite all over Mexico. They are thin slices or chunks of marinated meat, searved in tortillas with several different garnishes. The marinade is a special chile "adobo." In restaurants the meat is placed on a vertical rotisserie, crowned with a pineapple from which small pieces are cut and added to each portion. Tacos "Al Pastor" are served in smallish corn tortillas. Add diced onion and cilantro, a little lemon and a spicy red sauce known as "salsa borracha." At home you can make them in a skillet or griddle with great results.

Their origin derives from Middle Eastern cuisine, like the "shawarma" so popular in Europe. You can make them from lamb or beef, as well as pork, or a mixture if you like.

Preparation takes time, due to the requirement of marinating the meat, but it is truly worth the trouble.


  1. 1 package of small corn tortillas (approximately 20)
  2. 1 lb. lean pork in steak form or in smaller pieces
  3. 2 chiles, preferably "pasilla" o "guajillo"
  4. 2 hot chili peppers
  5. 1 "mulato" chile
  6. 3 peeled teeth of a garlic clove
  7. 8 oz. of white vinegar
  8. 1/4 tblsp of ground cumin
  9. 1/4 tblsp of ground cloves
  10. 16 oz of pineapple juice
  11. 8 oz chopped pineapple
  12. 1 large white onion, chopped
  13. 1 splash of oil


  1. chopped cilantro
  2. chopped onion
  3. red hot sauce ("salsa borracha")
  4. several limes or small lemons, cut in quarters


  1. Place chiles to cook in the vinegar until they are soft. Let cool. Cut off the stems and blend (in a blender if possible) with the vinegar in which they were cooked, together with the garlic, salt, pineapple juice, cloves and cumin.
  2. Strain the marinade mixture and then lightly sauté it with a splash of oil until it is well seasoned.
  3. Cover the meat with the marinade and let it steep in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  4. Pre-heat a griddle or skillet and grill the meat rapidly. Add a little oil to prevent sticking. If the meat has not been cut into slices or small pieces prior to cooking, do so now, as it cooks.
  5. When the meat is almost done, add the chunks of pineapple and the chopped onion, stirring well.
  6. Then heat the tortillas by placing them over the meat as it finishes cooking.
  7. Serve the hot tortillas with a bit of meat on top, with the garnishes on the side so that each person can decide for himself how much to add.
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