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Grilled Pork Tacos al Pastor

Rated as 4.62 out of 5 Stars
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"Al Pastor is a really popular way to prepare pork, famous in San Francisco's Mission District. It's a marinated roast pork. They make the most incredible tacos and burritos. This is inspired by those flavors."
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Ingredients

9 h 25 m servings 250
Original recipe yields 16 servings

Directions

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  1. Place dried guajillo and pasilla chiles into a bowl and pour in boiling water to cover. Let chiles stand 30 minutes to soften.
  2. Cut pork tenderloins in half crosswise and in half again lengthwise again to make 8 long strips.
  3. Drain water from chiles and pour in pineapple juice and vinegar. Add garlic cloves, chipotle pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin, and oregano. Transfer chile mixture to a blender and blend to make a smooth marinade.
  4. Place pork into a resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over pork; knead bag several times to coat pork. Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Preheat outdoor grill (preferably charcoal) for high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  6. Remove pork from bag and drain and discard marinade; transfer pork to a platter. Drizzle meat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and season with salt. Use tongs to gently stir pork pieces to coat lightly with oil.
  7. Cook pork strips on preheated grill until meat shows good grill marks and is lightly pink in the center, 7 to 8 minutes per side. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center of the largest piece should read at least 145 degrees F (65 degrees C). Transfer pork to a fresh platter.
  8. Drizzle a nonstick skillet with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Lay a tortilla into the hot oil and place 1 slice of Monterey Jack cheese into center of the tortilla. Cook until tortilla is hot, lightly browned on the bottom, and cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining tortillas and cheese slices. Transfer each tortilla to a plate.
  9. Slice pork strips across the grain into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Divide shredded cabbage onto each tortilla and top each with about 6 slices of pork, 1 tablespoon roasted tomato salsa, and a few slices of jalapeno pepper. Fold taco over fillings to eat.

Footnotes

  • Cook's Notes:
  • If you can't get the dried chile peppers, you can use dried ground chiles. Just be sure to use one with a name, such as ancho, instead of using generic chili powder.
  • Stop putting shredded lettuce on tacos. Use shredded cabbage. It's so much better for you, crunchier, and just as easy and cheap.

Nutrition Facts


Per Serving: 250 calories; 14.7 14.7 22.5 57 478 Full nutrition

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Reviews

Read all reviews 9
  1. 13 Ratings

  2.  
    Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 4 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 3 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 2 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 1 out of 5 Stars
Most helpful positive review

Wow! These turned out very tender and delicious! It's very close to what my daughter had a few weeks ago at our new favorite Mexican joint. This will definitely be in with our taco collection....

Most helpful critical review

I have never, to date, disliked anything Chef John puts out. This is the exception. I used New Mexico Hatch Chili Peppers, marinated this for two days, but the pork was entirely too tough. The ...

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Wow! These turned out very tender and delicious! It's very close to what my daughter had a few weeks ago at our new favorite Mexican joint. This will definitely be in with our taco collection....

Tacos al pastor is one of my favorites so I used this pretty much just for the meat part of the recipe. I setup toppings for the tacos and we topped them to our own tastes. The pork was really d...

Didn't have chile peppers, so used some fresh jalapenos, and cooked it in a cast iron skillet on the stove with some chunks of pineapple. Great recipe!

Delicious marinade and as always, a great video! Thanks chef!

These were excellent! I couldn’t find the appropriate peppers so I did two fresh jalapeños. I took a bit of the marinade out before mixing with the raw pork and heat until bubbling to mix with t...

Made it per receipe for company and we all loved it!!! Used cabbage and the extra crunch was great!!! Flavors are wonderful, worth tracking down the chilies for the marinade!!!

Fantastic. Company-worthy!

I have never, to date, disliked anything Chef John puts out. This is the exception. I used New Mexico Hatch Chili Peppers, marinated this for two days, but the pork was entirely too tough. The ...

Turned out good...Family liked the different taste...for myself, I wanted more spice...next time I will spice it up more.