“Tacos al pastor are an institution in Mexico,” writesRick Martinez, former BA editor and recipe developer. “Every grillmaster, taqueria owner, and food cart cook has their version of this classic that fills the streets with the smell of spicy grilled pork with charred pineapple and onion.”
Although the dish is a hallmark of Mexican cuisine, it has its roots in the Middle East. A large number of Lebanese immigrants arrived in Mexico in the early 20th Century, bringing with them a method for spit-roasting meats and recipes. shawarma. Initially, the dish was made with lamb and called tacos árabes or Arabic tacos. Tacos al Pastor, which are pork-based tacos, have become popular. corn tortillasThis tradition inspired the birth of our son,
For this recipe no vertical spit is required—a grill will do fine. But first, marinate thin slices of pork shoulder (about ¾” thick) in a bath of fresh pineapple, onion, dried chiles, and more for up to 12 hours. To achieve deep charring and caramelization, grill the pork on low heat. those crispy bits we’re all after) while keeping the meat tender and juicy.
Al pastor means “in the style of the shepherd” and isn’t confined to pork tacos. Inspired by a dish at one of Mexico City’s most beloved restaurants Contramar, Martinez also developed a fish tacos al pastor recipe that’s perfect for an alfresco summer meal.
Editor’s note:This recipe was first published on October 8, 2015.