Street Tacos al Pastor for #SundaySupper

September 16th is Día de Independencia in Mexico (Mexico’s Independence Day) and to celebrate the group of bloggers from #SundaySupper decided to feature Mexican dishes.  As someone who has another blog entirely dedicated to my favorite Mexican food — Tacos — I was excited to try making something I have always wanted to attempt.

Tacos al Pastor is my go to taco when I am out doing taco reviews on GasStationTacos.com.  It’s my test to see if the taqueria is sub par, average or amazing. If you have never enjoyed an al pastor taco, you are in for a treat provided you find a place (or recipe) that is at least average and hopefully amazing.

I’ve had amazing a few times.  The most memorable is from this gas station in Dallas, Texas:

They make it on a vertical spit something most home cooks don’t own, myself included. Sadly this recipe isn’t a match for some of the amazing pastor tacos in my history, but that doesn’t mean you should stop reading or ignore this recipe.  It just means the recipe here is above average and is a solid choice for homemade al pastor.  Granted I’ll probably try some other things next time, like increasing or modifying the chiles used as I prefer a bit more spice.

My wife really liked this recipe and thought the tacos were really good. Note this was her first time having al pastor tacos, because she will not eat at the gas stations or taco trucks I like to frequent.  Her loss.

So here is my virgin attempt at al pastor.

You will need to find a Mexican market as you’ll need a coupe things you probably won’t find at the typical grocery store.  Achiote paste and dried guajillos chiles are two things I had to find after striking out here in LA at Whole Foods.

Tacos al Pastor
Serves 4

16 corn tortillas
1/2 cup oil
2 lbs pork butt, trimmed of some of the outer fat and cut into 1″ “steaks”
1/2 pineapple
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, diced
4 limes, cut into quarters

Anchiote Marinade
2 oranges, juice only
1/2 cup anchiote paste
10 dry guajillos chiles
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
1 cup white vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the marinade by soaking the dried gualjillos chiles in hot water for about 10 minutes.  Add the softened chiles to a blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until fully combined.  Pour the marinade over the pork butt, cut into 1″ thick “steaks” and refrigerate for about 3 hours.

Heat your grill and add the pork.  Cook the pork for about 20 minutes turning halfway through and pounding the pork with some grill tongs. You want to soften the pork and thin it while it is cooking.  For the last 5 minutes of grilling add some rounds of pineapple.

While waiting for everything to grill, soften the tortillas by heating some oil in a saute pan on the stove.  Quickly add the tortillas for just a second on each side and place on papper towel patting them to remove any excess oil.

Remove the pork and pineapple.  Chop the pork and cut the pineapple into small pieces mixing all of it together.  In a separate bowl mix the red onion, cilantro, squeeze of lime and salt.

Prepare 3 to 4 tacos per plate and place some pork and pineapple mixture onto each tortilla and top with the onion and cilantro mixture.

Serve with some hot sauce and fresh limes.

For more ways to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day checkout the other #SundaySupper recipes this week:

Join us around the family table this week for our #SundaySupper Mexican Fiesta – it’s a party that you won’t want to miss. We hope to inspire you with these mouthwatering recipes from our talented contributors. We will be sharing them all day long and would love for you to share your favorite Mexican and Mexican-inspired recipes during our #SundaySupper live chat at 7pm (Eastern).

Sopas (Soups), Ensaladas (Salads), and Entremeses (Starters)

La Comida (the food)

Postres (desserts)

Bebidas (beverages)

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes for a Mexican Fiesta! All you have to do is follow the#SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat! We’d also love to feature your Mexican Fiesta recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers! And feel free to leave links to your favorite Mexican or Mexican-inspired recipes in the comment section of this post – I’d love to see them!


  • http://www.smallwalletbigappetite.com/2012/09/grilled-fish-tacos-with-black-bean-and-corn-salsa-sundaysupper.html Laura Hunter

    Oh wow this looks so good. I am coming to your house for dinner.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      We had leftovers. :)

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  • http://www.cindysrecipesandwritings.com Cindys Recipes

    I love pork and citrus together! Sounds awesome!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      A lot of places I’ve been for al pastor don’t add the pineapple. It may be a regional decision, but one I think adds some great flavor to the dish.

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  • http://rufflesandtruffles.com Katie

    I have to say – both your recipe AND the gas station one you pictured sound/look amazing! YUM! Thanks for sharing :)

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Katie. I’m so craving those tacos from Dallas…

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  • http://jcocina.com Jen @JuanitasCocina

    You did great for a virgin! Yours look amazing!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks. It probably helped being such a critic of street tacos. Now I need to try your sopapillas.

  • http://vintagekitchennotes.blogspot.com Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    I don´t know what the real ones taste like, but this version looks fantastic! I´d give anything to have one of those in front of me now. Happy Sunday!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Paula. Happy Sunday to you too!

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  • http://www.bigbearswife.com Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife

    I dont’ think we have a Mexican market. I’ll have to check around

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Definitely easier for me to find living in California, but I did find a few in Detroit when I lived there too. Another option is online http://www.thelatinproducts.com/.

  • http://www.inthekitchenwithkp.com/ Karen Hartzell (@InTheKitchenKP)

    I love tacos with anything to fill them! Yours look amazing! Can’t wait to try these out!
    Happy Sunday!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thank you Karen. They would go great with your caramel apple enchiladas!

  • http://galactopdx.blogspot.com Bea

    I will need to try Tacos al pastor at one of our taco places soon. Your recipe sounds delicious :)

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  • http://www.noshingwiththenolands.com Tara Noland

    Love these!! I could reach right in a grab one!!

  • http://magnoliadays.com/ Renee

    This is the first time I have heard of these type of tacos. Everything about it sounds so delicious. I love pork and the way it is seasoned and grilled makes me want some right now.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Renee. They are so much more flavorful than the typical beef or chicken taco. Plus no cheese, lettuce or tomato. Keeping tacos simple make them so much better.

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  • http://diabeticfoodie.com diabeticFoodie

    Pork & pineapple – yes!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus


  • http://pippisinthekitchenagain.wordpress.com/ Sheila

    Sounds awesome! I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://supperforasteal.com Lane @ Supper for a Steal

    I have seen al pastor tacos on the taqueria menus before, but I don’t think I ever knew it was pork. Now I will for sure try them next time we go to our fav local spot and then I will have to give these a try at home and see which one wins.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Lane, great to hear you have a local place that serves al pastor. Let me know who wins, but only if I win. :)

  • http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

    Ok yum! I love everything about these! I really want this for dinner tonight, looks incredible!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Erin. I might have to try them with your green chili sauce.

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  • http://www.CookingUnderwriter.com Sheila Fretz (@CookUnderwriter)

    I love street tacos and to be able to make them at home that’s even better

  • http://www.CookingUnderwriter.com Sheila Fretz (@CookUnderwriter)

    Wow these look amazing ! I love street taco’s and to make them at home that’s even better.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Sheila. Street tacos is one of my favorite foods.

  • http://themeltaways.com Pam @ The Meltaways

    These look unreal – so delicious! What a fabulous choice for this week!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Pam.

  • http://www.cravingsofalunatic.com/ Kim Bee

    This is fabulous. Love this dish, and that you used a grill to make it.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks. Using the grill was fun as it provided for a lot of flames from the pork fat hitting the grill grates.

  • http://www.familyfoodie.com Family Foodie

    These Tacos look amazing! Now on my must try list. Thanks so much for sharing during #SundaySupper

  • http://www.mommameals.wordpress.com Tammi @ Momma’s Meals

    These look awesome!! What a great addition for #SundaySupper! Delish!

  • http://www.mycatholickitchen.com veronica gantley

    Oh how delicious and beautiful are your street tacos! Yum!

  • http://kwistinsfavorites.wordpress.com/ Crazy Kwistin

    Love street tacos, these look great!!

  • http://www.girlichef.com Heather @girlichef

    Oh, I made some Gas-Station Style Pork tacos that were from the Homesick Texan a while back (http://www.girlichef.com/2011/08/pork-tacos-dallas-gas-station-style.html). Yours looks really mouthwatering and I’m wishing that I had a couple right now.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      That looks like a great cookbook. I did notice she had a recipe for gas station tacos. Great to hear you had some success with her recipe. I may have to ask for that cookbook for Christmas now that I moved out of Texas.

  • http://www.irunforwine.net Megan

    The problem w/ doing #SundaySupper comments on Monday morning is that you end up wanting tacos for breakfast!!!! This looks and sounds absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://crispybitsnburntends.com Sarah

    I must admit I have never tried Al Pastor. But I’ve seen it featured on many food shows. Not only if I can get a spit and a skewer! I’ll try your method first.

  • http://www.mamamommymom.com Jamie (Mama.Mommy.Mom)

    Pineapples on a taco? I’m down with that! Looks fantastic!

    Jamie @ http://www.mamamommymom.com

  • http://www.dailydishrecipes.com Nicole @ The Daily Dish

    Chris, these look fantastic! I wouldn’t mind having some right now :)

  • http://chocolatemoosey.com Carla

    I’m not lucky enough to have food trucks nearby nor have I heard of al pastor. However, I will happily come over and give yours a try! I’m learning so much from this Sunday Supper. I didn’t realize how out of touch I am with Mexican cuisine haha

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      It’s kind of required when you live in California or Texas to get up to speed with Mexican cuisine. Happy I can add to your knowledge. Next time you’re having Mexican food in Pennsylvania ask for some al pastor tacos and wait for a priceless expression.

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  • http://www.suesnutritionbuzz.com Sunithi

    Whattt !! your’e kidding ! Another cooking blog ? You have at-least 3 blogs I think. Any more ? When do you find time for anything ? just kidding ! Nice recipe . Pork & pineapple is always a winning combo ! Like the fire shot & your ” Tex Mex ” blog too.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      This is my only “cooking” blog. The other one is all eating and the other all cars. Thanks :)

  • http://www.homecookingmemories.com Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories)

    Well, these sound quite amazing!! And I wasn’t aware of the GasStationTacos site…will share with my husband who I know will enjoy it.

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