Al pastor is the best taco choice when you’re faced with the option. Normally roasted on a large rotating tower of meat called a trompo, al pastor is a slow-roasted, fatty, pineapple and spice marinated prepared pork that hits all the right flavor notes.
While living in Los Angeles, I used to frequent Leo’s Taco Truck every weekend after a night of alcohol abuse. Since moving back to the east coast, I’ve been craving the savory dish and I finally found a recipe that comes as close as you can get to imitating the flavor without owning a trompo yourself.
I originally found this recipe on Buzzfeed and decided to make some modifications to the cook time and the type of vinegar used. Since I had some pineapple vinegar lying around from my slow cooker sweet and sour pulled pork recipe, I thought it would fit beautifully in such a pineapple-heavy recipe.
- 5 lb boneless pork shoulder
- 3 T achiote paste
- 2 T guajillo chili powder
- 1 T garlic powder
- 1 T oregano
- 1 T ground cumin
- 1 T salt
- 1 T ground black pepper
- ¾ C pineapple vinegar
- 1 C canned pineapple juice
- 1 pineapple, skinned and sliced
- wooden skewers
- corn tortillas
- Slice the pork shoulder into 1 centimeter slices and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the achiote, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, vinegar, and pineapple juice and whisk until blended smoothly.
- Place pork shoulder pieces into the liquid mixture and toss until coated evenly. Let this marinate for at least 2 hours, but ideally 24 hours.
- When ready to prepare, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet (with a lip to catch the juices) with aluminum foil and place a slice of pineapple.
- Press a few skewers through the pineapple and push the slices of marinated pork shoulder through the skewers, layering one on top of the other until there is a small gap at the top of the skewer. Put another pineapple slice on top.
- Bake for 3 and ½ hours at 250 degrees. Bump the heat up to 450 degrees F and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes to crisp up the outside.
- Rest the meat for 15-20 minutes and carve off thin slices. Carve the pineapple into thin slices as well.
- Place pork and pineapple in corn tortillas and cover with a bit of salsa or other condiments like onion or cilantro, as desired.
- Bask in the amazing deliciousness of al pastor.