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This might be my favorite taco of all time. Traditionally found shaved from a spit on the streets of Mexico City, these homemade tacos al pastor use pork that’s been marinated in a blend of dried chilies, spices, and pineapple, then seared until crispy and tender. Vijay, Recipe Hunter

Vijay Nathan, NoshOnIt Recipe Hunter and Chef

THE RECIPE

Tacos al Pastor

From Mexican street food to your kitchen

Tacos come in all shapes and sizes but if we had to choose one type to eat for the rest of our lives, it would be these – tacos al pastor (or “shepherd’s style tacos”). Found throughout Central Mexico and particularly famous on roadside stands in Mexico City, tacos al pastor can be thought of as the Mexican answer to Middle Eastern shawarma, influenced by the cuisine of Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Traditionally, slices of pork are marinated in a blend of various dried and soaked chiles, along with spices, onion, and garlic. The pork is layered onto a massive rotating spit along with pieces of pineapple which has an enzyme that helps tenderize the meat as it cooks. Upon ordering, the seared meat is shaved and served simply upon small tortillas with cilantro, onions, and salsa. To recreate this at home, Nancy skips the spit and simply sears small cubes of marinated pork with pieces of chopped pineapple on the stove before serving it with the requisite accompaniments. The result is a complex yet perfect bite. Hot, savory, sweet, and smoky, right in the palm of your hand. With this recipe, it’s not just Taco Tuesday, it’s Taco Everyday.

THE CHEF

Nancy Lopez-McHugh

Photographer, Recipe Developer, Blogger

Nancy Lopez-McHugh

My cooking is inspired by world flavours, my culture and childhood memories. I love sharing my passion for cooking as well as showing others how exotic and delicious homemade meals can be attainable to everyone; all one needs is fresh, healthy and seasonal ingredients.

After years of resisting her mother’s attempts to teach her how to cook, Nancy took matters into her own hands and taught herself. Now, this Mexican expat lives in Europe and shares the global culinary adventures she tackles in her kitchen on her blog, Spicie Foodie. As a lover of bold, spicy flavors, Nancy shares authentic recipes from around the world along with her healthy variations on some of her favorites that prove that an indulgence in flavor doesn’t require a load of calories. With mouth-watering, inspired photography and a passion for sharing her discovered love of cooking, Nancy’s blog is a feast for your eyes and tastebuds.

Head over to Spicie Foodie and say hello to Nancy on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

THE TIP

How to Rehydrate Dried Chiles

Dried chiles are a staple ingredient in many international cuisines and come in many shapes, sizes, colors and heat levels. Here’s how to work with them.

Read the full tip >

  • Alanna Taylor-Tobin

    Al pastor FTW!

  • Katie | HealthySeasonalRecipes

    Schawarma and Tacos in one tortilla. Hello Lunch! That looks amazing:) And I am so glad to know about Nancy.