If you’re due for a taco night, these homemade tacos al pastor should definitely be on the menu. Consisting of tender bits of pork loin and bacon marinated in an array of spices and herbs, then topped with roasted pineapple salsa, this dish will be all your family and friends will be able to “taco-bout.” Make every day Taco Tuesday with this recipe for homemade tacos al pastor.
For The Pork
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground Mexican oregano
1 tsp ground cumin seed
1 tbsp achiote powder
1 chipotle chili packed in adobo sauce & 2 tsp sauce from can
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
2 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp sugar
3 cloves garlic
2 whole guajillo chilis, deseeded, destemmed, & hydrated
½ cup chicken stock
2 lbs boneless blade-end pork loin
16 oz sliced bacon
For Assembly & Pineapple Salsa
1 can sliced pineapple
32-48 corn tortillas, heated and kept warm
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 radishes, chopped
3 to 4 limes, cut into 8 wedges
Your favorite hot sauce
½ cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
Add vegetable oil to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it’s simmering, add ground Mexican oregano, ground cumin seed, and achiote powder. Stir for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Then, add the chipotle chili and adobo sauce and stir for 30 more seconds or until fragrant. Add vinegar, salt, and sugar, then remove from the heat.
Pour the sauce into a blender along with garlic, guajillo chilis, and chicken stock. Blend on high until smooth, then set it aside.
Slice the pork loin as thinly as possible using a sharp knife. Place one slice of meat inside a plastic bag and tenderize with a meat pounder until it’s less than a quarter-inch thick. Transfer to a mixing bowl, then repeat this process with the remaining meat.
Once all the tenderized pork loin slices have been added to the mixing bowl, coat them with the sauce and toss it all together with your hands until each piece of meat is completely coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Line the bottom of a metal loaf pan with bacon strips, then add a layer of the marinated pork. Repeat this process with the remaining meat and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Place the loaf pan on a foil-lined baking sheet, then pop it in the oven for about 4 hours at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. After baking, pour the fat and juices into a bowl and set aside. Refrigerate the meat for at least 2 hours.
Place the pineapple slices on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush on some of the reserved fat and juices, then roast in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes or until tender.
Once the meat is cooled, transfer it to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice it as thinly as possible to create fine shavings, then transfer them to a bowl.
Approximately 10 minutes before the pineapple is finished roasting, transfer the meat and 1 tablespoon of the fat and juices to a pan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until the meat becomes brown and crispy in spots. Add more of the reserved fat and juices and toss to combine until reduced to a moist glaze, then transfer to a serving bowl.
Add 1-2 more spoonfuls of fat and juice to the meat and mix. Next, chop the roasted pineapple into chunks. Then, add the meat to warmed tortillas, followed by diced onion, pineapple, and radishes. Top with your favorite hot sauce, lime juice, and minced cilantro.
More from In The Know: