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Tacos Al Pastor with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

  • Author: Morgan
  • Prep Time: 3 hours 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes


These delicious tacos are the most flavorful around, featuring tender pork, spicy peppers, and sweet caramelized pineapple. These are a favorite in Mexico and will become your favorite, too!



For the Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

  • 5 tomatillos, husks peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt, to taste

For the Tacos Al Pastor

  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless pork butt, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 guajillo chiles*
  • 2 ancho chiles*
  • 2 chiles de arbol*
  • 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 medium white onion, halved
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 package corn tortillas
  • 4 oz cotija cheese, crumbled, for serving
  • Fresh cilantro and lime wedges, to garnish


For the Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

  1. Chop up the tomatillos, onion, jalapenos, and avocado into large chunks. Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add more salt, if neccessary, and place in the refrigerator.

For the Tacos

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Add the dried chiles and reduce to a simmer until the chiles soften and re-hydrate, about 12 minutes.
  2. Take one of the onion halves and coarsely chop it. Strain the pineapple chunks from the juice and save both in separate bowls.
  3. Place the rehydrated chiles, one chipotle chile, adobo sauce, chopped onion, about 3/4 of the pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, cumin, kosher salt, ground cloves, and oregano to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Place the chopped pork into a large plastic container with a lid. Pour the chile mixture over the pork and mix through to coat well. Marinate for 3 hours.
  6. After 3 hours, preheat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add a little drizzle of oil and toast the tortillas, about 30 seconds on each side. Place the toasted tortillas beneath a towel to keep them warm.
  7. Increase the heat to high and add about a tablespoon of oil. Remove the marinated pork from the container and let excess marinade drip off. In small batches, cook the pork until it is cooked through and slightly charred.
  8. After all of the pork has been cooked, chop it roughly into smaller pieces.
  9. Dice the remaining onion half and chop up the pineapple chunks. Add to the cast iron skillet and cook until the pineapple slightly caramelizes, about 3-4 minutes.
  10. Add the remaining pineapple juice and the chopped up pork back to the skillet and mix in with the pineapple and onion.
  11. Scoop the pork mixture into the toasted tortillas. Top with the tomatillo salsa, onions and cilantro if desired, and crumbled cotija cheese. Serve with lime wedges.


* These chiles are dried and will likely be found in the international foods section of your supermarket.

  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Mexican