One of my favorite Mexican foods is tacos al pastor, a dish brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants. It is spit-grilled pork prepared in a similar manner to Greek gyros and the döner kebabs of Turkey.
Making truly authentic al pastor is very time-consuming and complicated—best left to the pros. But here is a quick and easy Instant Pot version that I like very much. You could also make the al pastor in a regular slow cooker, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time (on low) to about 8 hours. The Instant Pot version takes under an hour.
This recipe is based on one printed in The Essential Mexican Instant Pot Cookbook.
Tacos al Pastor ingredients:
2 lb. boneless pork such as loin or shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup water
¼ cup ground chile powder such as New Mexico, California, Ancho or Guajillo
1 Tbsp achiote paste
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup white vinegar
½ cup diced pineapple chunks (canned, fresh or frozen)
Minced red or white onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Warm corn tortillas
Method for Instant Pot Tacos al Pastor:
1. In the Instant Pot, combine the pork, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and the water. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press Meat/Stew, then set the cooking time for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the ground chile, achiote paste, garlic salt, cumin, pepper, garlic, oil, and vinegar. Stir in the pineapple and onion.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the pineapple mixture, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until soft. Remove from the heat.
4. When the Instant Pot cooking program is complete, press Cancel. Perform a quick pressure release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting. Open the pot and let rest for 10 minutes.
5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to the skillet with the pineapple mixture, then add 1⁄2 cup of the cooking liquid. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring gently, for about 5 minutes, until the mixture looks dry and the pork is slightly crusted.
6. Serve the al pastor on warm tortillas garnished with onion and cilantro.
FOR RESTAURANT REVIEWS GO HERE
THIS CONTENT IS FROM UTAH BITES NEWSLETTER.
GET OUR WEEKLY RESTAURANT REVIEWS, TED’S FAVORITE RECIPE AND DRINK OF THE WEEK DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX. TO SIGN UP FOR FREE GO HERE.
Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS: click on their logos to visit their website