al pastor tacos recipe

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
  • salsa


  1. Slice the pork shoulder into 1 centimeter slices and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the achiote, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, vinegar, and pineapple juice and whisk until blended smoothly.
  3. Place pork shoulder pieces into the liquid mixture and toss until coated evenly. Let this marinate for at least 2 hours, but ideally 24 pastor recipe marinated pork
  4. When ready to prepare, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  5. Line a baking sheet (with a lip to catch the juices) with aluminum foil and place a slice of pineapple.
  6. 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 pastor recipe marinated pork tower
  7. 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.
  8. Rest the meat for 15-20 minutes and carve off thin slices. Carve the pineapple into thin slices as pastor fresh from the oven
  9. Place pork and pineapple in corn tortillas and cover with a bit of salsa or other condiments like onion or cilantro, as desired.
  10. Bask in the amazing deliciousness of al pastor.

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