Carne Asada Tacos or Al Pastor Tacos


I have had great success preparing tacos this way. I bought this recipe from a taqueria owner (taco restaurant) in Mexico City. I am translating the directions. It can be used for beef, pork, or just about any other type of meat. The spice mix on this recipe gives meat a really excellent flavor.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
6 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs 40 mins
6 servings


  • ½ onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon anise seed

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon dried sage

  • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 5 whole cloves

  • ½ cup soy sauce

  • 1 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 orange, juiced

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 2 pounds flank steak

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped

  • ¼ (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or to taste

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed

  • 24 (5 inch) corn tortillas

  • ½ onion, chopped

  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped

  • 1 bunch radishes, halved


  1. Place 1/2 chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, parsley, oregano, paprika, anise seed, black pepper, cumin, sage, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice in a blender; pulse until a very well-blended paste is achieved, scraping down sides as needed, 3 to 5 minutes. Spread paste on both sides of the flank steak. Wrap steak in plastic and refrigerate at least 6 hours to overnight.

  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove excess marinade from flank steak.

  3. Grill steak until it begins to firm and is hot and slightly pink in the center, about 8 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Chop steak into small pieces and transfer to a platter; cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

  4. Place 1 chopped onion, tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and 3 cloves garlic in a blend; pulse until desired consistency. Add water if the salsa becomes too thick. Transfer salsa to a bowl.

  5. Heat tortillas in a microwave safe plate until warm, about 1 minute.

  6. Serve beef over stacks of two corn tortillas with salsa and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 chopped onion, radishes, and cilantro.

Cook's Notes:

You may also use pork loin or pork chops. This recipe works really well with almost any variety or cut of meat. Thinly cut steaks work best with the tacos.

If you want to blend the flavors even more, you can simmer the paste in a saucepan stirring constantly and allow to cool. Filter marinade through a fine strainer and rub on both sides of steak.

You can tinker with this recipe to make the marinade as strong or as weak as you wish. You can double up or cut the marinade ingredients in half or increase the amount of any particular herb or spice. I find that the flavor of the meat in this recipe is almost addicting and I always end up grilling about ten pounds of beef so I make extra marinade. The longer you marinade the meat, the better.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

400 Calories
9g Fat
54g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 400
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 1337mg 58%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 15mg 76%
Calcium 137mg 11%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 732mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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