“Al Pastor” Style Tacos

al pastor tacos

Al Pastor tacos were named for Albert Pastor in 1975, a celebrity chef and bartender in Cabo who loved pineapple and pork.

Okay, maybe not. Al pastor, or “ala Shephard”, is a cross between Mexican street tacos and lamb shawarma. The Al pastor is a reference to the history of the tacos being derived from swarma. The Lebanese immigrants in Mexico did not have access to sheep, so pork stepped in. It is ridiculously tasty, but notorious for being tough to make, as the traditional dish is stacked and slow roasted. By switching out the meat from a fattier pork shoulder to a lean pork loin, we can play with the traditional technique to make some magic. Let’s cook my version and adaptation of some Al Pastor Tacos.

al pastor tacos
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5 from 2 votes

Al Pastor Tacos

Pork Tacos like the Pastor
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Servings 18 tacos
Author Jim


  • 3 pounds pork loin (sliced into 1/2 inch slices)
  • 2 Tablespoons Achiote paste (or adobo, if you can’t find it)
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pineapple (cored and peeled)
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • fresh cilantro
  • Corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges
  • Pickled jalapenos


  • In your blender, place chipotles, shallot, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, oregano, chili powder, and salt. Liquify.
  • Add marinade to large resealable bag along with the pork. Marinade overnight.
  • Place grill over high heat. Slice pineapple into 1/2" rings. Grill pork for 3-4 minutes a side or until charred. Grill pineapple for 1 minute a side or until just marked. Do the same with the corn tortillas. Chop pork and pineapple, serve on tortillas adorned with the onion, lime, jalapenos, and cilantro.

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