This quick oven-baked version of classic tacos al pastor captures the rich saucy smoky flavors of the traditional recipe in your very own kitchen.
Tacos are bae. Spicy. Saucy. Smoky. Deliciousness. It’s one of my all-time favorite food. Probably the thing I make the most in my house. Chicken, beef, fish, or pork, doesn’t matter which, I will slap it in a tortilla with some sauce, some cheese, and a mess of garnishes. But this recipe is something special. I saw a recipe for it on Food Network that had me all types of salivating.
They started with a bunch of dried peppers and spices. Mixed the peppers with vinegar, pineapple juice, and some garlic and onion to make this bright rich marinade. I had to try. Once I finally made it, I almost loved it. Wasn’t a fan of pineapple. The combination of sweet and spice was perfect but the taste of the pineapple didn’t do it for me
My solution? Change the sweetness from the pineapple to the sweetness of apple juice! Concentrated apple juice to be exact. It still has all of the sweet and spice of the traditional recipe. And marinade is easily adaptable to changes according to taste preference so if you want pineapple, add pineapple juice or fresh pineapple.
In addition to the heat from the dried peppers, I like to turn it all the way up with a little jalapeno salsa. It’s sort of like pico de gallo without tomatoes. I bit of sour cream can calm the heat if it’s too much but I like all the spice.
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- Taco Al Pastor
- 2-3 lb center cut pork chops
- 1/2 lg white onion
- 1/2 c apple juice concentrate
- 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 c canola oil
- 2 guajillo chilies dried
- 2 New Mexico chilies dried
- 3 árbol chilies dried
- 2 chipotle chilies in adobo
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp paprika
- tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- warm corn tortillas
- feta or cotija
- cilantro leaves
- salsa; recipe below
- 1/2 lg white onion
- 2 jalapenos
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 lg lime
- kosher salt to taste
- Remove stems and seeds from dried chilies and cut widthwise into 4ths. Grind peppers in a spice mill or food processor until powder like. Add peppers, apple juice concentrate, 1/2 of the white onion, garlic, and remaining ingredient to blender or food processor and process until smooth and a bright reddish orange color.
- Place pork chops in baking dish and pour mixture over pork to marinade in the fridge for 2 to 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450. Remove pork from the fridge and bring to room temp.
- Bake uncovered on the top rack for 25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees. Turn oven to broil and allow the tops and sauce to charr for another 5-6 minutes.
- Slice into 1/2 inch slices and toss with cooked pan sauce. Serve on warmed corn tortillas with jalapeno salsa.
- Add finely diced jalapenos and remaining 1/2 of the white onions into a mixing bowl. Toss with a 1/2 bunch of minced fresh cilantro, the juice of 1/2 a lime, and kosher salt to taste.