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Traditional Mexican Tacos Al Pastor consists of thinly sliced pork shoulder that’s cooked on a vertical spit. This flavorful variation is made using your multi-cooker pressure cooker. This recipe is a lighter, weeknight friendly version of Tacos Al Pastor.
Al pastor, also known as tacos al pastor, is a taco made with spit-grilled pork. Based on the lamb shawarma brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico, al pastor features a flavor fusion that combines traditional Middle Eastern spices with those indigenous to central Mexico. Al Pastor means “shepherd style” in Spanish, and features pork marinated in pineapple, chilies and spices then stacked and vertically roasted on a slowly turning spit with a pineapple on top which bathes the pork with its juices.
My version is made in a multi-cooker pressure cooker, because does anyone actually have a vertical spit at home? I know I don’t, but I still want to capture all the delicious flavors of this amazing Mexican taco recipe. So I made a super flavorful marinade featuring traditional Mexican spices, citrus juices and Mazola Corn Oil!
For those who don’t have a spit, this recipe is also made by sauteing the sliced meat in a cast iron pan, usually with a bit of lard. I’m skipping all of that and making this dish way lighter, yet with all the flavor, with the help of Mazola Corn Oil!
What ingredients do you need to make Tacos Al Pastor?
Traditionally the pork marinates in an adobo-style red chile and vinegar marinade, and is placed on a vertical spit, called El Trompo, alongside a pineapple. The spit rotates and the meat is cut off of the spit as it cooks. The bright red marinade gets its signature hue from achiote paste.
Achiote paste is made with annatto seeds, cumin, pepper, coriander, oregano, cloves, and garlic. It can be used as a sauce, marinade or rub in many delicious traditional Mexican dishes. Achiote paste can be found at many Latin/Ethnic supermarkets. If you’re unable to find it, you can use paprika as a substitute.
Other ingredients you’ll need are orange and lime juice, as well as spices like cumin, oregano, chili powder, and some fresh ingredients like onion and garlic. To make the marinade, you blend all the ingredients with Mazola corn oil, pour it over the pork cubes and let it marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours. The result is an explosion of delicious flavors!
What Cut of Meat Is Used For Tacos Al Pastor?
Tacos al pastor typically uses fatty pork shoulder. To lighten up this recipe, I use pork loin, which is a much leaner cut of pork. September is National Cholesterol Awareness month, and I’m doing by best to make meals that are lighter and leaner for my family, especially since we’ve been dealing with some extra weight from too much quarantine snacking! To make this dish even faster, I cut the pork into large chunks, which speeds up the cooking process.
How To Make Homemade Flour Tortillas
My homemade flour tortillas are so tender and chewy, you’ll never use store-bought again after learning how to make tortillas. They’re the perfect vehicle for the Shredded Pork Al Pastor filling. Traditional tortillas are made with lard, but not these! You can reduce saturated fats and cholesterol in your meals easily with simple swaps, such as substituting lard with Mazola Corn Oil to make homemade flour tortillas! The best part is that by making this swap, your flour tortillas are way more tender than traditional lard based tortillas. Visit Mazola.com for more information and recipes.
Do I need a tortilla press to make this recipe?
No, you don’t need a tortilla press to make this tortilla recipe. Although this Mexican cooking tool does create uniform, round, thin tortillas, a rolling pin works just as well. I like placing the ball of dough between two pieces of wax paper before rolling it out. It’s important to roll all the way over the edges of the tortillas so that they are the same thickness all around. The goal is a super-thin tortilla that’s see-through before cooking.
How do you cook homemade flour tortillas?
Cook the tortillas for 30 to 60 seconds on one side before flipping them only one time and cooking them an additional 30 seconds. The goal is achieve slight browning in various spots as the tortillas puff and cook.
What to Serve with Shredded Pork Tacos Al Pastor?
I love serving this with chopped pineapple, onion and cilantro for garnish! Here’s a list of amazing Mexican side dishes that would the perfect pairing for these tacos!
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes From Delish D’Lites
- Mexican Street Corn Salad (Elotes)
- Chipotle Corn Salsa
- Bacon and Smoked Gouda Queso Fundido
- Quick and Easy Fresh Mango Salsa
- Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- Pickled Red Onions
*see Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health.
Shredded Pork Tacos Al Pastor
Pork Al Pastor Filling
- 3 pounds boneless pork loin cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup Mazola Corn Oil
- 2 oranges juiced
- 1 lime juiced
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 cup green onions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 oz achiote paste or 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons Mazola Corn Oil for sautéing
Homemade Flour Tortillas
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup Mazola Corn Oil
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup pineapple chunks diced
- 1 cup white onion diced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- lime wedges
For the Pork Al Pastor Filling
Place pork in a gallon sized zip top bag or large glass mixing bowl. Combine Mazola Corn Oil, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and achiote/paprika in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour sauce over the pork and make sure all chunks of meat are covered. Seal the container and marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker and select Saute function. Add corn oil and heat until hot. Add chunks of marinated pork and brown on all sides, reserving extra sauce, about 5 minutes. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your pressure cooker. Turn off Saute mode and pour reserved sauce over the pork. Close and lock the lid. Select high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions; set timer for 20 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.
Release pressure first using the natural-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, about 10 minutes. Release remaining pressure using the manufacturer's quick release method, about 5 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid.
Use forks to coarsely shred the pork, Use a spoon to drizzle the reserved sauce from the pressure cooker over the meat to moisten it and add some more of the marinade flavor.
Create tacos by portioning the pork on flour tortillas. Add chopped pineapple, chopped white onion & cilantro. Garnish with lime wedges.
Homemade Flour Tortillas
Add 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder into a stand mixer bowl with a dough hook attachment. Mix the dry ingredients briefly to incorporate.
With the mixer on, add in the warm water and corn oil. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, until the dough is combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
Take the dough out of the bowl and place on a working surface. Cover with a damn paper towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. If it’s excessively sticky, you can sprinkle the dough with a bit of flour.
Using a knife, pizza cutter or bench scraper, cut the dough into 2 halves. Then cut the halves, into halves, and so forth, until you have 16 pieces of dough. Place a ball of dough between a piece of wax paper and flatten using a rolling pin. Roll out the dough into thin discs. (Don’t stack them yet, they’ll stick.)
Cook for 1 minute on a ungreased griddle or cast iron skiller that’s set to medium-high heat (375-400°F), or until you see bubbles forming, then flip and cook the other side for 30 seconds. You can store the cooked flour tortillas in a plastic ziptop bag in the fridge for a few days, or freeze them for up to 3 months for long term storage. To reheat, wrap the flour tortillas with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.
If I use pork shoulder for this recipe is the cook time and instructions the same?
Hi! If you’re using pork shoulder, make sure it’s been removed from the bone and cut into chunks. Manually set your pressure cooker to 40 minutes on high pressure. Make sure the vent is sealed.
Once the cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, manually release any additional pressure. Shred and enjoy!
Thank you Jannese
Can I substitute a pork tenderloin for the recipe?
Pork tenderloin is too lean for this purpose.