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How to make “Tacos al Pastor” at home/Como hacer tacos de trompo en casa

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As a Mexican living abroad, it is not easy for me to satisfy the craving for eating really good Tacos al Pastor or Tacos de Trompo, as we call them in my hometown. Something happens inside taco trucks or Mexican-style restaurants outside of México that cannot explain in this short space, but you can see that there is a Mexican-looking guy cooking in the kitchen but the food doesn’t taste anything like the real thing. I know they are focusing their business to the local clientele’s palate but please, why change the flavors 180 degrees? That is why I am always looking for ways to recreate those flavors at home as much as possible and this recipe is one of them. The list of ingredients for the adobo sauce was given to my by one of my sisters.
 
Tacos al pastor                                            Photo courtesy of Mexico Alternativo
Tacos al pastor are cooked in a vertical spit, the meat is stacked in the shape of an inverted top. Over the years, I tried different methods to mimic the tacos as they are sold in Mexico. One method was staking the meat and bake it in the oven, it just doesn't work, the result was soft meat and not the crispier texture of the vertical pit, then the classic skillet versions where the meat sticks a little bit to the pan,  the kabob style got better results than the previous cooking methods until one day I happen to visit blogger Kalofas and saw his Gyro recipe. Bingo! I had found what I needed, a vertical rotisserie oven small enough to place in your countertop. And since last summer via eBay and after 26 dollars including shipping and handling, I am the proud owner of a Carousel Rotisserie. For me this is the only way  to cook tacos al pastor and also Tacos Arabes, Gyros, Chicken Shawarma, and a whole chicken, too. You can buy a newer version of this
Vertical Rotisserie online. Or get the same like mine, just click on the link bellow the ingredients list.Tacos al pastor11
This adobo sauce is great with the pork meat for your tacos, choose your own cooking method as shown below.
Serves 6:

  • 1 oz. guajillo peppers cleaned and seed removed (About 4 peppers)
  • 1 oz. achiote paste
  • ¼ cup pinapple juice (you could use the juices from the sliced pineapple can)
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt

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  • 2 Lbs. pork butt (Shoulder) cut in 1/3 inch steaks
  • Salt and pepper to season the meat
  • 1 medium size white onion cut in slices
  • 1 can of pineapple rings
  • 1 medium size bunch of cilantro, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 medium size onion finely chopped
  • Corn tortillas
  • A good spicy salsa of your choice

Instructions:
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1. Place the peppers in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer in a medium heat for about 15 minutes or until they look soft. Let them cool and drain.
2. Place peppers, vinegar, pineapple juice with the spices and achiote paste in your blender. Process it until you have a very smooth sauce. Pour the sauce slowly through a fine sieve to get a nice homogeneous texture. At this time, taste the sauce just to make sure the salt is enough for your taste.
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3. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Place the sauce and steaks in a large bowl and marinate the meat or use a pastry brush and apply the sauce to each side of the steaks.
4. Marinade for at least 4 hours or overnight of hours and then grill the steaks  or fry in a skillet. Grilling some pineapple and onion slices along the meat to add to the tacos when serving.

Now for the cooking process:


I. To cook in the Vertical Rotisserie stake the meat intercalating with some slices of onions and pineapple. Let any marinade drain for about 20 minutes before starting the timer. 1 Hr. is enough to cook 2 pounds. Shave the meat with a sharp knife and place it in a already warm skillet to give it that crisper taste as they do at the taquerias in Mexico.
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II. The second option is using the broiled of your oven. Cut the meat as for Kabobs and insert into the skewer placing onion and pineapple slices between the meat. Since the meat is cut in smaller portions this method will take about 20 minutes to cook rotating at least 2 times while cooking.
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III.  Now this is the easiest since almost anyone has a frying pan or skillet at home. Once your meat has marinated cut in small fine strips. Warm the frying pan and add 1 – 2 Tablespoons of oil until hot enough that when you place the meat it sizzles. Add onion and pineapple slices along the meat to cook. Turning as needed to avoid the meat to stick to the pan. Cook for about 12 -15 minutes.
You can also use your gas or charcoal grill to cook the marinated pork steaks.
Slice the meat finely and make your tacos with warm tortillas, topped with chopped onion and cilantro, onion, pineapple and a salsa of your choice.
 
TAcos al pastor2o
Check out our recipes for Tacos de Suadero, Tripitas, Steak and Beef Tongue.

Provecho!
Mely

Shering this post at Full Plate Thursday
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39 comments:

  1. Esos taquitos me han hecho agua la boca Mely que deliciosos se ven, son de mis favoritos me encantan los taquitos al pastor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Norma,
      Y tu en el DF consigues los mejores tacos.

      Mely

      Delete
  2. Hi Mely, thats a lovely looking tacos, even though I dont eat pork. Have a nice day :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nammi,
      You can use chicken instead of pork, the adobo sauce is really good even with fish dishes.

      Mely

      Delete
  3. OMG! This looks soooo gooood! This reminded me of the days when I used to eat more meet. My husband and I used to cross the border on special trips to our favorite tacos de adobada stand. Oh god, I could have some right now! Great recipe Mely, I'm glad you posted it. Saudis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Prieta,

      Missing the taco stand at the border too. I used to go to the ones in Reynosa, Tamps while living in Texas. Have a great week!

      Delete
  4. Tacos al Pastor are one of my favorites... this is a great way to recreate them!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mely, you're a genius! Twenty six bucks and change for authentic al pastor. That's much easier than my plan to hook the dog up to a treadmill to turn a spit on the Weber.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Kirby,

      I always love your sense of humor. I can even imagine the dog running around in circles.

      Mely

      Delete
  6. Oh my! You have me wanting a vertical rotisserie so very much!!!!! I am going to hunt one down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris,

      I was lucky to find it as soon as I saw the post in the Kalofagas. When rigth to ebay and there it was. It looked like there were no takers maybe that is why is was so affordable.

      Good luck in finding yours!
      Mely

      Delete
  7. Me encanta tu rostizador vertical! Ahora yo quiero uno! =( =) Que tortura con los taquitos al pastor
    Ahora tengo que hacerlos

    Besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nora, desde que hago los tacos en el rosticero no hay vuelta atras.

      Saludos,

      Mely

      Delete
  8. Tengo suenos de tacos al pastor en un restaurante en Queretaro. Me encanta tacos al pastor. Porque no estan en los menus de restaurantes en EEUU?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Trisha,

      Pienso que la razon principal por la cual no los ofrecen es porque saben que no saben igual cociendo la carne en otro metodo que no sea el asador vertical. Y ese que usan en las taquerias es toda una inversion.

      Saludos y que tengas muchos sueños bonitos.

      Mely

      Delete
  9. Me tomaste por sopresa querida Mely, tenía planes de volver a hacer los tacos al pastor desde hace un par de meses así que me quedo con aún mas ganas de comerlos.
    A mi hijo les encantan también, la genetica no miente :-D
    El año pasado, cuando fui al mercado de San Juan en el DF, pasé por las calles del centro historico donde están un montón de tiendas con herramientas para la cocina y los restaurantes y por supuesto tenían trompos de varios tipos, el mas bonito que ví costaba alrededor de 14000 pesos.

    http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-404333310-trompo-de-acero-inox-para-tacos-al-pastor-marca-uniworld-dpa-_JM

    Un día voy a comprar uno.

    Abrazos
    Tlaz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola FLavio,

      Si esos son bastante caros, pero ya sabes el ingenio de otros me ayudo a hacer mi propio trompo.

      Saludos,

      Mely

      Delete
  10. Hi Mely,
    You have created a wonderful Taco, this is just beautiful and your presentation is just awesome. I just love the flavors that you combined for this recipe and the method that you used to achieve your goal. Hope you have a great week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
  11. Que delicia! hay Mely, tu nadamas me haces romper la dieta. Que buena idea lo de prepararlos en el Carousel rotisserie, no se me habia prendido el foco. Mi esposo desde cuando quiere comprar un trompo para preparar los tacos al pastor en el verano para nuestros amigos y dejar en paz por un rato la BBQ, pero si que estan un poco caritos. Por otro lado, tu receta con mole, esa que se prepara en capa sy queda como un lasagna me la han "chuleado" mucho :)

    Como siempre gracias por las ideas y las recetas. Que disfrutes de un exelente verano!

    XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Ruth,

      Que bueno que les guste la receta del platillo con mole, es rico y saca siempre de apurros por lo facil que es preparar.

      Saludos,

      Mely

      Delete
  12. Another beautiful and traditional recipe post from you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mely, this looks soooo good. I have got to find one of those rotisseries. I made corn tortillas for the first time tonight and wish that I had some of this meat to go inside of it. Soooooon! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Candace,

      It is so cool that you are making your tortillas at home. Look forward to see the pictures.

      Mely

      Delete
  14. Beautiful, al pastor is a hard taco to find and to find a good one is even harder, Yours looks fantastic..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Gerry,

      You are right, these are some hard to find tacos, a really good ones. So better make them at home.

      Happy cooking!

      Delete
  15. we just did tacos al pastor over the weekend on the grill, they came out amazingly good! Esto es lo que mas extraño de vivir en Mexico (y tacos arabes con jocoque!!)
    saludos!

    ReplyDelete
  16. We just did tacos al pastor this past weekend on the charcoal grill, they came out perfect!!! Esto es l o que mas extraño de vivir en Mexico! (y tacos arabes con jocoque)
    Saludos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Paul F,

      Tacos Arabes are also some of my favorites, well I just love a good taco. :)

      Happy week!

      Mely

      Delete
  17. Que divino! hasta parece que me llega el olorcito. Divinas fotos
    besos

    ReplyDelete
  18. Qué ricos tacos Mely!
    Me encantan los tacos de "trompo" así se les llama también en Monterrey.

    Gracias por la receta!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ya comí y se me hizo agua la boca!!!! me gustó que le pones jugo de piña , así lo voy a hacer ahora!!
    un beso

    ReplyDelete
  20. I didnt know you could buy these things. That is great. I will have to look for one of those.

    ReplyDelete
  21. So happy to stumble upon your site. Wonderful recipes. The "rotisseries" they seem to be using in the pic look identical to the ones that middle easterners use to make shawarma. I am up in NY. For decades there was a definite desert of authentic mexican food. However, I'm happy to say that as the Mexican population grows, it is becoming possible to find authentic places. These businesses tend to initially cater to the Mexicans in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the quality level seems to go down as soon as the place is discovered by hipsters. They tend to mob these places and then they start losing their authenticity and quality. Always a disappointment when this happens. I am glad I can recreate these at home. Another thing that seems impossible to find is an authentic cemita! Luckily I have my own source for papalo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ruth,

      I agree with you about how the quality go down and the flavors also change to cater their new customers.

      Come back soon.

      Mely

      Delete
  22. Replies
    1. Thenak you Cristian for your question and catching that missing item. It goes along with the peppers and spices into the blender. I already update te recipe.

      Thanks again.

      Mely

      Delete
  23. Oh my god. I'm staying in Mexico as an exchange student this year, and I'm only about a month away from returning to Norway. I have to learn how to make tacos al pastor. They are delicious! But I had no idea it took so much time and effort :o

    ReplyDelete
  24. We love tacos al pastor and I decided to try making them at home and found this recipe. WOW..so good. My husband is from Mexico and he loved them too. Thanks for the great recipes!

    ReplyDelete
  25. We love tacos al pastor! I decided I would try making them at home this weekend instead of going out...WOW they were good! My husband is from Mexico and he loved them too. Thanks for all the great authentic recipes! :)

    ReplyDelete

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