Tacos al Pastor were my absolute favourite and my introduction to tacos in Mexico. When we lived in Monterrey there was this taco place around the corner from our apartment and this was their specialty, called trompo (which means spinning top) in Monterrey because of the shape. Tacos al Pastor is marinated pork cooked on a spit grill, similar to shawarma, doner kebabs or gyros and in fact most likely an adaptation from the Lebanese immigrants in Mexico.
- 1kg pork steak sliced thinly about 3mm thick (we used pork neck for this recipe on our butcher’s recommendation, he also recommended partially freezing the pork neck to make it easier to slice)
- 4 rashers bacon
- 50g Achiote (half a regular pack, it comes in a small box and is a solid rectangular block of paste)
- 1 chile guajillo (you can buy this dried chile variety at good international food grocers)
- 1 clove of garlic & 1/2 an onion
- Salt & pepper
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- half an orange, juiced
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or dried epazote if you can find it)
- 1 whole fresh pineapple
- Dry fry the chile over medium heat until it begins to smoke slightly and softens, about 30 seconds on each side. Then rehydrate it by putting it in a pot of boiling water, boil for 2mins.
- De-seed and de-stem the chile and place in your blender with a very small amount of the water (2-3 tbsp), achiote, garlic, vinegar, orange juice & oregano. This is your marinade.
- Marinate the sliced pork in the achiote mix for at least 20mins.
- Peel the pineapple and cut a large long rectangular piece, this will be a piece you pile the meat on.
- Once the meat has marinated get yourself a baking tray and layer the pork over the pineapple dispersing the bacon evenly throughout, the idea is to create a tower of porky goodness, use the rectangular chunk of pineapple as the stand. Once you have layered all the meat over the pineapple place another small chunk of pineapple and slices of onion on top and use a long skewer to secure it all in place.
- Cook in a hot oven (200c) for 1 hour
- To serve thinly slice the pork and chunks of the pineapple and mix together. Serve with fresh salsa and freshly chopped coriander & onion on a warm corn tortilla, Doña Cholita of course.
TIP; To make it a gringa (Tacos al Pastor con queso) place some of the cooked pork mix in a frypan add some grated cheese, stir til melted. serve