How to make popular Mexican street food Tacos al pastor


Tacos al pastor is a popular Mexican street food dish that features marinated and grilled pork, typically sliced thinly and served in tortillas with various toppings. It is known for its vibrant flavors and is often enjoyed with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Here's a breakdown of the ingredients and the cooking process for Tacos al pastor:

- 2 pounds (900g) boneless pork shoulder or pork loin
- 3-4 dried guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
- 2-3 dried ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup (60ml) white vinegar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice
- 2 tablespoons achiote paste (optional, but adds depth of flavor)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt, to taste
- Corn tortillas
- Toppings: Diced onions, chopped cilantro, pineapple chunks, lime wedges, salsa, sour cream (optional)

1. In a bowl, combine the dried chilies with hot water and let them soak for about 15-20 minutes until they soften.
2. While the chilies are soaking, cut the pork shoulder or pork loin into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick.
3. In a blender or food processor, combine the soaked chilies, chopped onion, garlic, white vinegar, orange juice, achiote paste (if using), dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, and salt. Blend until you have a smooth marinade.
4. Place the pork slices in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them, making sure to coat each slice evenly. Cover the bowl or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
5. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If using a charcoal grill, prepare it for indirect grilling by pushing the coals to one side.
6. Remove the marinated pork slices from the refrigerator and thread them onto skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 30 minutes beforehand to prevent them from burning.
7. Place the skewers on the grill directly over the heat or on the side opposite the coals for indirect grilling. Grill the pork slices for about 3-4 minutes per side until they are cooked through and slightly charred. Be careful not to overcook to avoid dryness.
8. Remove the pork from the skewers and let it rest for a few minutes. Slice the grilled pork into smaller pieces or thin strips.
9. Warm the corn tortillas on a grill, stovetop, or in the oven until pliable.
10. Assemble the tacos by placing some of the sliced grilled pork onto each tortilla. Top with diced onions, chopped cilantro, pineapple chunks, and a squeeze of lime juice. Add salsa and sour cream if desired.
11. Serve the Tacos al pastor immediately and enjoy them while they're warm and flavorful.

Note: Traditionally, Tacos al pastor are cooked on a vertical rotisserie called a trompo. If you have access to one, you can adapt the recipe to use the trompo for an authentic experience. Additionally, some variations include adding a slice of pineapple to the skewers for extra flavor and caramelization.

Enjoy the delicious Tacos al pastor with their vibrant and tangy flavors!