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Tacos Al Pastor


Tacos Al Pastor

Published in Our Salsas and Tacos Cookbook.
Taco Filling
4 ounces (about 8) dry ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 cups water
3 to 4 roasted plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 3/4 cup chopped canned tomatoes
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 pounds pork stew meat, trimmed and cubed pork butt, or cubed pork cushion meat
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tablespoon toasted dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon lightly toasted, ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried thyme leaves (optional)
4 whole bay leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar or unseasoned rich wine vinegar
3/4 cup pineapple juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Corn tortillas

Makes about 20-24 tacos or 8-10 servings

Toast chiles on a skillet or comal or in a hot oven (425 degrees) until darkened slightly but not burned.

Bring water to a boil, add toasted chiles, stir well, and remove from the heat. Soak chiles for 15-20 minutes, drain and reserve water. Puree chiles in a blender with a little of the water and the tomatoes.

Heat oil in a 4 to 5-quart saucepan or in a pressure cooker. Brown meat, a little at a time, remove and reserved cooked pieces.

Add onion and then garlic and cook until onion is softened and begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add oregano, cumin, thyme, bay leaves, and pepper along with chile-tomato puree and fry for 1 additional minute, stirring constantly.

Return browned pork to the pan and add vinegar, pineapple juice, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of the reserved chile soaking water.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 35 minutes at 15 pounds in the pressure cooker. (Note: If using a regular pan, cook covered on low heat for about 1 1/2 hours, until meat is tender. You may need to add water during the cooking process to prevent burning.

Strain the sauce from the meat and cook longer, if needed, to thicken.

To serve, shred meat and place in soft corn tortillas or flour tortillas. Garnish with chopped green onions. You may also serve with guacamole and lime wedges.

Shopping for Ingredients

Many of the ingredients for our recipes are available directly from the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Shop Ala Cart or Purchase all the Ingredients as a Package.

Ingredients and Tools available at the School of Cooking

(2.5 oz.) - $8.00
(Mexican Oregano - 1 oz.) - $5.75
(Cumin Seed - 3 oz. ) - $6.50
- $39.95
- $14.50
Total Cost: $74.7

Other Ingredients

  • Ingredients for Tacos & Flour Tortillas
  • 3-4 Plum tomatoes or ¾ cup chopped canned tomatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 Pounds stew meat, pork butt, or pork cushion meat
  • ½ White onion
  • 8 Cloves garlic or minced jarred garlic
  • Fresh or dried thyme leaves
  • Whole bay leaves
  • Apple Cider or wine vinegar
  • Pineapple juice, 1 single serve 6 ounce can
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Green onions (optional garnish)
  • Guacamole (serving suggestion)
  • 1 Lime (serving suggestion)
  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Vegetable shortening