Serious Eats: Recipes

Robb Walsh's Tacos al Pastor

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

Sometimes I worry that my affinity for all things pineapple-related compromises my standing as a food-minded professional. Pineapple and ham-topped pizza? An icy piƱa colada? Double swoon.

This recipe for Tacos al Pastor The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook by Robb Walsh makes me feel a little less guilty about my love of pineapple. It's a melting pot of a dish that originated in Northern Mexico and combines the Middle Eastern spit-cooked schwarma with all of the essential elements of Mexican tacos: tortillas, onions, cilantro, and lime.

The meat (pork loin in this preparation) is marinated in a mix of orange juice, garlic, cider vinegar, oregano, and dried chile, and perhaps a spoonful or two of annatto paste for color. The meat is grilled alongside slices of pineapple, then chopped and mixed together to make tacos that are porky, spiced, with just the right amount of tropical sweetness from the caramelized pineapple. Unlike other tacos that might need the addition of cheese, sour cream, or a glug of hot sauce, these are perfect on their own.

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