Tacos al pastor recipe (adobo-marinated pork and pineapple tacos)

Neil Perry
Mini pork and pineapple tacos.
Mini pork and pineapple tacos. Photo: William Meppem

Start this recipe a day ahead.


1kg pork shoulder cut into 1.5cm thick steaks, rind removed

12 warm tortillas (for gluten-free, use corn tortillas)

¼ onion, finely chopped

½ fresh pineapple, chopped small handful

pork crackling (from Asian food stores), cut into bite-sized pieces

small handful coriander leaves

1 lime, cut into wedges

For the adobo marinade

1 clove

1 tsp black peppercorns

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 cinnamon quills, crushed

2 chipotle chillies

2 guajillo chillies

2 ancho chillies

2 arbol chillies

8 garlic cloves, skin on

1 eschalot, skin on

60g apple cider vinegar

1¼ tbsp dried Mexican oregano

For the salsa verde

½ garlic clove

1 jalapeno, chopped

sea salt, to taste

½ small brown onion, finely chopped

2 tomatillos (Mexican husk tomatoes), diced, (fresh if available; if not, use tinned)

1 tsp agave syrup or honey

5 coriander sprigs, chopped


To make the adobo marinade, toast the clove, peppercorns, cumin seeds and cinnamon in a pan until it becomes fragrant on medium heat (1-2 minutes), crush using a mortar and pestle, and set aside.

Remove stems and seeds from dried chillies, tear into small pieces, toast in same pan over medium-high heat until just smoking (1-2 minutes). Transfer into heatproof bowl, add 1 cup hot tap water and cover with a plate to ensure chilli pieces are submerged. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, then strain.

In the same pan, roast garlic and eschalot over high heat, turning occasionally until tender (about 10-15 minutes); blackening is okay. Peel when cooled. Blitz all marinade ingredients, including vinegar and oregano, in a blender. Add crushed tomato if more liquid is needed.

Marinate the pork, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge an hour before cooking.

To make the salsa verde, use a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic, jalapeno and a little salt into a paste; add onion and crush in with tomatillo and agave syrup, fold through coriander.

Preheat barbecue to medium-high. Grill pork for 6-8 minutes per side, or until just cooked through and slightly charred. Set aside to rest, then slice.

Serve with warm tortillas, onion, pineapple, crackling, coriander, lime and salsa verde.

Serve as part of Neil Perry's Mexican banquet (recipes here).