Tacos al Pastor – Round One

Tacos al PastorWhy round one? Because there is going to be a round two. For the past nine years, ninety six percent of my menu selection at my local taquerías has been tacos al pastor. These tacos have been pretty much consistent among the few restaurants I frequent, and every time I am so satisfied that I am now in serious pursuit in how to make them. Please keep in mind that if you have never had the taco al pastor that you will really enjoy this recipe, and if you have had them before, you will like this one as well.

I have been experimenting over the last couple of years, making carnitas and spicing them up a bit, however my last visit to the taquería really sold me. Call me a food nerd, but I took a few extra minutes investigating the taco, picking out what I could in flavors, colors, and overall tastes. I am certain a couple of the locals were looking at me as I did make eye contact with them, however if they would only give me the recipe, I would not have to do this type of thing!

Lets get started.


  • Pork Shoulder (3lb), cut in small cubes (keep the fat on as it will render later on)
  • 2 Oranges, quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 3 Pasilla peppers, seeded, then boiled, then chopped
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 1/2 tbs of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs of oil
  • Cilantro
  • More onion
  • Corn tortillas (2 per taco), store bought or homemade
  • Cold beer

Begin by marinating your pork with the quartered onions and oranges. Let this mixture sit in a large ziplock bag overnight. When you are ready to begin cooking, slow cook the pork, oranges, and onions on low for roughly 8 hours. This process will render out some of the fat and begin to come together. Don’t get too excited yet, the fun is about to come.

Tacos al PastorIn a food processor, add the garlic, pasilla peppers, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Process until it forms somewhat of a paste. This paste is going to be used to cook the pork, once again, to form a crispness to the pork.

In a large pot, add the cooking oil and bring to a medium to high heat for a few minutes. add the pork, then the paste. Mix really well, and cook on medium heat for roughly 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and let cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to come together even further.

When you are ready, heat your tortillas, then place in your tortilla warmer if you have one, otherwise, get your tacos together. Take two of the tortillas, fold, scoop as much meat as you want within your taco, add diced onion, fresh cilantro, and any other topping you desire. I use tomato wedges, limes, and slices of avocado.

Trust me on this one, regardless if it is a round one, it is truly awesome. Enjoy.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

3 thoughts to “Tacos al Pastor – Round One”

  1. This is my all-time favorite taco, although the taqueria I’ve been frequenting recently has a killer fish taco that’s hard to resist. Battered and fried pieces of flounder, spicy sauce, cool crisp cabbage and a squirt of lime-y mayonnaise. Man, oh man!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *