Tacos al Pastor {Pork Street Tacos}

September 20th, 2012  |  Family Dinner, Favorites, Oink  |  1 Comment

When it comes to food, my husband and I rarely disagree.  If I like something, he likes it too and vice versa.  The only thing we vehemently disagree on {other than radishes and pate} is what constitutes really good Mexican food.  I think he is easily satisfied with just about any mediocre Mexican food; I, on the other hand am a Mexican food snob and don't like to waste my time with anything average.   Before I leave for any trips back to Texas I always make a point of telling him how excited I am to finally get some good Mex!  He always responds with the same obnoxious roll of the eyes.

The one dish we can usually agree on, and one of our favorites is Tacos al Pastor.  We both spent some time in Mexico for schooling and developed a fondness for the pork tacos you often see spinning outside on a spit, chock full of flavor and delicately charred before being sliced off into some tiny corn tortillas and topped with onions and cilantro.  They are spicy.  They are salty.  They are so packed full of delicious spices that my mouth begins watering heavily before I ever even take my first bite!

This was my first attempt at making this dish; its one of those things that I've always felt is better left to the experts, especially since I don't have a rotisserie and can't imagine that I would be able to recreate those delicious flavors at home.  The truth is that I really owed my husband a fabulous dinner that he would love after serving him salmon steamed in the dishwasher the night before.  I think I crossed the line with that one {I'm actually lucky that he didn't ask for my ring back}.  But I completely redeemed myself with these tacos.  They were sooooooooo delicious and tasted completely authentic!  Its been a while since I've been so proud of myself... and Hubs shared the same sentiment.  I know he really likes something when he not only tells me how good it is, but then says I should serve it at our next dinner party!  That is the ultimate compliment and I got it with this one!

This is how I did it:

Recipe makes about 6 tacos and can be prepared in about 40 minutes. 


1-1 1/2 lbs pork butt {shoulder} diced into small chunks
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup diced white onion, divided
2-3 jalepenos, seeds and membranes removed and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
8 corn tortillas
cotija cheese, for extra pizazz


In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat.

Add in diced pork, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for about 5-7 minutes until pork begins to turn golden in color.  Carefully drain out as much of the oil as you are able, leaving a little bit to help cook the vegetables.

Return pot to heat and add in 2/3 cup diced onion and jalepeno.  Cook, stirring occasionally for another 3-4 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent in color;  then stir in minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in vinegar, giving it a good stir to deglaze the pot.  Mix in tomato paste, cumin and oregano.  Cook pork, stirring often for about 10 minutes longer.

Remove from heat and serve in your favorite warmed corn tortillas.

Top with chopped fresh cilantro, remaining diced onion and a sprinkle of cotija, if using.

I served these tacos with a side of hominy cooked in butter and it was a fantastic complement to them!

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