I just got back from a splendid vacation in Southern California, where I was born and raised. I learned two things on my visit back home:
1) I hate traffic. Southern California is the WORST and I hated having to live my life by it in the 10 days I was back.
2) I really, really, really miss Mexican food. Like the authentic stuff. None of this canned stuff dosed in queso out here.
So I made it my mission to capture the flavor of Mexico in my Tennessee kitchen and thus, Crockpot Tacos Al Pastor were born.
What are Tacos Al Pastor?
"Al pastor" literally translated means "of the shepherd." This is a style of eating common among shepherds or herdsmen who need something nutritious to eat while on the go. Traditionally, al pastor tacos are made with a marinated pork meat and layered inside a tortilla or fold-able bread.
How to Make Crockpot Tacos Al Pastor
What gives these Crockpot tacos al pastor their signature flavor, is all the yummy spices! Now, I'm not going to lie. This marinade will put some hair on your chest. It is not for the faint of heart. I wouldn't serve it to a first time guest and kids without a trained palate will probably say it is too spicy.
But that means there is more for me!
If you want something authentic, something different, and something truly flavorful that will keep you coming back for more...these are the ticket.
In a large food processor, puree the following ingredients until smooth:
20 oz can drained pineapple chunks
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white vinegar (can substitute apple cider vinegar)
1 onion roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves (or 1 heaping tablespoon)
2 cans (7 oz) chipotle chiles
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp Kosher salt
Pour everything into the bottom of your Crockpot. It should have little chunks.
Add about 4 pounds of skinless pork loin meat that has been cut into 1-2 inch cubes. Doing this will make it easier for you to shred the Crockpot tacos al pastor when you want to eat them.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
Crockpot Tacos Al Pastor 3 Ways
There are endless combinations in how to assemble Crockpot Tacos Al Pastor!
1) Enjoy the pork meat over rice and beans with your favorite shredded lettuce, homemade pico de gallo, and Colby Jack Cheese.
2) Make a torta and sandwich the meat in a roll with refried beans, cotija cheese, tomato, avocado, and cilantro.
3) Grill a flour tortilla and top the meat with grilled pineapple, radishes, queso fresco, and minced cilantro.
But who says you have to do what I suggest?!?!
This recipe is so versatile, it is sure to be delicious with anything you pair with it! I grilled flour tortillas, sprinkled on goat's cheese (very similar to queso fresco), minced cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Super Awesome Mexican Side Dishes
No Mexican meal is complete without chips and salsa, so I highly recommend that you make my Homemade Cilantro-Lime Salsa.
These other recipes are always a major hit among guests!
Save this pin for easy reference in the future!
If you try these Crockpot Tacos Al Pastor, please drop me a line in the comment section and let me know what you think. I always appreciate feedback. And as always, happy cooking y'all!
Crockpot Tacos Al Pastor
- food processor
- Crockpot/slow cooker
- 4 lbs skinless pork tenderloin, cut in 1-2 inch chunks
- 1 20 oz can pineapple chunks, drained
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup white vinegar can substitute apple cider vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 7 oz cans chipotles chiles in adobo
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 12 flour tortillas, grilled
- 8 oz queso fresco or goat's cheese
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- Optional toppings: radishes, lime, pineapple, cotija cheese, tomatoes, avocado
- Cut the pork into 1-2 inch chunks, set aside
- Put all of the ingredients from the pineapple through the salt into a food processor and puree until smooth. Small chunks will still be present.
- Put the pork and the chile puree into the slow cooker and mix so that all is well coated.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. When finished, use a fork to shred the meat.
- Grill tortillas and spoon on al pastor meat and top with queso fresco, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
This recipe says that it serves 4, yet calls for 4 pounds of meat to start. Seems like a lot of meat per serving. Is one of the numbers incorrect?
Yes, both of these numbers are right. The meat cooks down quite a bit and it also allows for people to have atleast 2 tacos each. If you have small eaters, you will have leftovers…but there is definitely nothing wrong with that!