Inspired by Lebanese immigrants, al pastor style tacos have a unique and interesting flavor all their own. Grilled Pork Tacos al Pastor is my version of this delicious dish. Serve with a pineapple slaw, it’s a complete meal your family will love.
I told you I’ve been on a taco kick lately, right? Well, I have. I shared a few taco recipes for #BBQWeek and now I have two taco recipes for #CookoutWeek. I have no idea why I’ve been so taco obsessed except that they’re delicious, versatile, and fun!
I’ve even made slow cooker pork al pastor a few years ago. However, for these, I wanted to grill the pork. Because, well, Cookout Week! Hello!?
For those that don’t know tacos al pastor are a traditional central Mexico dish. Pastor meat is typically spit fired meat like shawarma or gyro meat. And that’s because Lebanese immigrants brought this method of cooking to Mexico. This method was combined with the flavors of Mexican cuisine and there you have it! Tacos al pastor was born!!
There are many different, regional varieties of al pastor.
And sometimes it’s just a matter of what type of tortilla you serve it on. If it’s on maize flour it’s called something different than if it’s on wheat flour. Then there’s the árabes style bread which is like a pita bread.
And here’s the irony to the story. Tacos árabes (or Arabic from the Arabic Mexican cuisine which I know nothing about but am completely intrigued about) which is the shawarma style taco meat served on pita bread was taken BACK to the Middle East. They call it shawarma mexici and use meat other than pork. And there we come full circle.
And thus concludes your history lesson for the day.
Of course, this isn’t grilled on a spit. It’s just a pork roast that I marinated and grilled. It has such great flavor with the achiote, pineapple, and cumin. So much learning in this recipe. For those that don’t know, achiote paste is typically the paste made from seeds of the achiote bush. You can also find it labelled as annatto in the grocery. At least that’s the case in my grocery store.
Anyway, it has a very unique and interesting flavor. Some describe it as peppery with a hint of nutmeg. I’m not sure I get that flavor. Not to mention that gorgeous red color that coats the outside of the meat. People have used achiote for decades as a dye because it makes such a pretty reddish orange color to everything! Including your hands, to be careful when handling it.
So, some might ask about the pineapple.
I didn’t ask and probably will get reamed for using crushed pineapple, but since it was in the slaw I didn’t feel it necessary to grill slices of pineapple to serve with the tacos. For you purists out there, sorry if I’ve offended, but these are MY recipes. Just saying.
Anyway, since they cook the meat on a spit, they place pineapple at the top and bottom to keep the meat in place. At some point during the slicing of the meat off the spit some pineapple ended up onto the taco itself. I imagine someone telling the restaurant (or street vendor) that, “Hey! That pineapple tastes great with the meat! You should probably grill some and serve it with the tacos.” At least in my head that’s how it all went down.
All good al pastor restaurants serve slices of pineapple with the tacos.
I the al pastor capital of Mexico, it is. And this tradition has traveled wherever al pastor has gone including Chicago which has a large Latin American population, or so I’ve read. Tacos al pastor has traveled, like I said, back to the Middle East as well as other parts of the globe.
You can see some of that typical red color on the meat there. I just diced mine, but you could easily slice this roast like it’s on a spit. Just put your meat fork through the size and stand it up. That way you can pretend that you spit roasted it! Or you could do like Epicurious or one of those other food sites where they stacked chops in a skewer and roasted it in the oven. Or, if your grill is tall enough, you can roast it on your grill. Mine’s not that tall. But it would be interesting to try to smoke al pastor meat.
Stay tuned for that recipe!
This is the first time I heated the tortillas on the gas stove. I kind of like the charred edges and slightly crisp texture that gives me. I might have to do that again. Besides, it’s quicker than heating up the oven and having them toast on the baking stone. I sometimes forget them and they turn into tostadas instead.
You can see the bright colors of the slaw! There’s cabbage and carrot, of course, but there’s also some green onion and maybe a dash of jalapeno in there. Don’t quote me on that one though. I’m THE WORST at writing down the recipe before I make it. In my head, I think I’ll write it down after I cooked the recipe. That rarely happens.
I hope you try al pastor tacos at home. You can make them with a slow cooker like I did, or grill them. OR you could roast them in the oven. Either way, they have delicious flavor. You could even skip the pineapple if you wanted. I won’t tell anyone.
This is part of #CookoutWeek!
Which has a HUGE giveaway of over $750 in prizes. Make sure you head over here to enter. It’s at the bottom of the post which lists all the goodies we’re giving away!
- BBQ Cheddar Summer Macaroni Salad by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck
- Campfire Duck Bacon Pancakes by The Pintertest Kitchen
- Cauliflower “Potato” Salad by Join Us, Pull Up a Chair
- Cheesy Grilled Foil Packet Potatoes by Everyday Eileen
- Coconut Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Lemon Glaze by Blogghetti
- Easy Creamy Grape Salad by Savory Moments
- Easy Duck Tacos by Moore or Less Cooking
- French Onion Salt Potatoes by Hardly a Goddess
- Fresh Tomato Cucumber Salad by April Golightly
- Frosted Lemonade Cooler by 2 Cookin’ Mamas
- Garlic Butter Steak Foil Packets by Cookaholic Wife
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus and Red, White, and Blue Potatoes by Our Sutton Place
- Grilled Duck Breast Pasta Salad by Daily Dish Recieps
- Grilled Duck Breast with Strawberry BBQ Glaze by Our Good Life
- Grilled Garlic Parmesan Corn by Cheese Curd in Paradise
- Grilled Ostrich Loin with Easy Risotto by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Grilled Pineapple Mojito by The Spiffy Cookie
- Grilled Pizza with Pesto, Burrata, and Baby Tomatoes by The Baking Fairy
- Grilled Pork Tacos al Pastor by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Grilled Pound Cake with Honey Cinnamon Peaches by The Weekday Gourmet
- Grilled Quesadillas by Chef Sarah Elizabeth
- Honey Butter Biscuits by Kelly Lynn’s Sweets & Treats
- Honey Butter Pie Crust by Get the Good Stuff
- Honey Vanilla Strawberry Shortcake by That Recipe
- Keto Bulletproof Fudgsicles by Frugal & Fit
- Lemon Cake by Cook with Renu
- Mango and Mandarin Orange Duck Salad by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Margarita Pie by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Slow Cooker Garlic Butter Corn on the Cob by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Smoked Steakhouse Duck Breast Sandwich by Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen
- Southern Pork and Slaw Dog by The Freshman Cook
- Spaghetti Salad by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Spicy Chocolate Cookie Cake Bars by Sweet Coralice
- Strawberry Shortcakes by Fix Me A Little Lunch
Disclaimer: Thank you to #CookoutWeek Sponsors The PinterTest Kitchen, Chef Shamy, Maple Leaf Farms, Barleans, and Vermont Village for providing the prizes free of charge. These sponsors also provided bloggers with samples and product to use for creating #CookoutWeek recipes. All opinions are my own.