Al pastor tacos⁠—Jose style

My boyfriend had some of the best and worst tacos he’s ever had when we visited Puerto Rico. When we came back to D.C., he was missing the al pastor ones that changed his life, so he decided to learn how to make his own at home. He slow roasted marinated pork shoulder stacked with pineapple, sliced it up, toasted corn tortillas, added cilantro and sliced onions, and managed to make some super delicious tacos. We live streamed the whole thing on his Twitch, so you can find that here, and follow the recipe below to make your own!

Top tips from me and Jose:
1) You can get most of these ingredients at any grocery store, but your best bet is to go to a Hispanic market to get quality tortillas, spices, and meat. You can do powdered Guajillo and Pasilla chiles for the marinade, but it’s better to buy dried chiles. If you do get the dried chiles, you’re going to want to boil 5 of each with 2 cups of water for 10 minutes until soft, then remove the stems and seeds, before pureeing them with the chipotle chiles, onions, pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, and cumin in a food processor. Otherwise, follow the recipe below.
2) We eyed most of the measurements and it turned out perfect. These are estimations below, so do what you feel is best!

3) Allow your meat to marinate at least 2 hours, but the longer the better, so make it the night before if you can.
4) Buy an adjustable roast rack to hold up your stacked meat and pineapple in the oven, and to allow it to evenly cook.

5) Patience is key. Start this recipe at least 4 hours before you want to eat.
6) Warm your corn tortillas in a skillet to make sure they don’t fall apart, and because they taste better that way.

From start to finish, this took us about 3.5 hours. This could easily make 18 tacos, if not more.

2.5 lbs pork shoulder, sliced into fillets big enough to stack on a skewer — 4 tbsp powdered Guajillo chile — 4 tbsp powdered Pasilla chile — 1 can of Goya chipotle chiles in adobo sauce — 2 tbsp minced garlic — 1 tbsp ground cumin — 1 tbsp salt — 2 tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning with pepper — 1/4 cup white vinegar — 2 cans pineapple rings, most for stacking, leftovers to dice and garnish tacos — 1-2 wooden skewers — adjustable roast rack — metal or aluminum pan — 18 corn tortillas — 1 bunch cilantro — 1/2 white onion, diced


1. Slice the meat into fillets about 1 inch thick. Add them to a dish or pan for marinating.

2. Add Guajillo chile, Pasilla chile, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced garlic, ground cumin, salt, Adobo with pepper, and white vinegar to the pan with meat. Mix until thoroughly coated. Cover with foil and let marinate in fridge for 2-8 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

4. Remove meat and set up roasting pan. Hold the skewer up on a plate and start stacking the meat. About every third piece, add a pineapple ring. Repeat until all the meat is stacked.
5. Place the stacked meat sideways on the adjustable rack, which should be on top of a pan. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

6. Before meat is done, slice onion and chop cilantro for toppings. Toast corn tortillas in a pan over medium-heat for a few seconds on each side.

7. Allow meat to rest for at least 5 minutes after removing from the oven. Slice however you’d like, but I recommend holding the skewer vertical over a plate and slicing from the top down like shawarma.

8. Build your tacos! Add meat, pineapple, onion, cilantro, and other optional toppings like hot sauce, on your warmed tortillas. Enjoy!

Check out the streams here!

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