Slideshow: The Food Lab: How To Make Tacos Al Pastor At Home

Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat

Crisp, chili-flavored, sweet, succulent and juicy. Tacos al pastor are one of the pinnacles of the snack truck form.

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Step 1: Slice the Roast
Step 1: Slice the Roast

Start with a boneless pork sirloin roast (or a blade end roast) and slice it as thin as you can with a sharp knife.

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Slice 2: Ready to Pound
Slice 2: Ready to Pound

To pound the meat, place it inside a zipper-lock bag that's been split in half along the edges (to make it easier to get meat in and out).

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Step 4: Lift carefully
Step 4: Lift carefully

Lift up the meat and transfer it to a large bowl. Repeat with the rest of the meat.

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Step 5: Toast Chilies
Step 5: Toast Chilies

Toast some fresh dried chilies (ancho and pasilla or guajillo) in a large skillet until puffed, pliable, and fragrant.

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Step 6: Add liquid
Step 6: Add liquid

Add chicken stock to start them softening, then transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

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Step 8: Blend
Step 8: Blend

Transfer all the marinade ingredients (including some raw garlic, chipotle chilies, vinegar, salt and sugar) to a blender and blend until smooth.

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Step 9: Add to Pork
Step 9: Add to Pork

Pour the thick marinade over the pork slices.

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Step 10: Massage it In
Step 10: Massage it In

Massage the marinade into the meat, making sure every piece is coated.

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Step 12: Add Bacon
Step 12: Add Bacon

Add a layer of bacon for every layer or two of meat. The cured bacon will add fat and juiciness, without actually overwhelming the intense marinade.

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Step 13: Let it Rest
Step 13: Let it Rest

Wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest for the marinade to start curing the meat. Ideally, this should take place over teh course of a day or two.

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Step 14: Cook and Cool
Step 14: Cook and Cool

Roast the meat in a 275°F oven until it is completely tender, then let it cool, again, preferably overnight. The next day, slice it really thin.

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Step 16: Roast the Pineapple
Step 16: Roast the Pineapple

Roast the pineapple in a hot oven until tender and lightly charred. This will enhance their sweetness.

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Step 17: Crisp it Up
Step 17: Crisp it Up

Heat up some of the rendred fat from the loaf pan in a cast iron skillet, then add the meat, allowing it to cook until crisp on many surfaces. You can add back some of the exuded juices from the loaf pan to moisten the meat if desired.

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Step 18: Serve
Step 18: Serve

Serve the meat with warm tortillas, roasted pineapple pieces, onions, cilantro, salsa, and lime wedges.

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