This Sunday, October 4th, we celebrate National Taco Day! What a great opportunity to have taco day on a weekend! Sundays are family days and serving tacos sort of makes the day special and unique. I don’t know what it is about serving tacos that adds a personal touch. Maybe it’s because you just prep all the ingredients and everyone assembles their own tacos. It’s like giving everyone the independence to assemble their tacos according to how they like it. It’s fun, really, it’s such a unique experience. This traditional Mexican Pork Tacos, or Tacos Al Pastor, takes time to prepare but truly worth it!
How Traditional Mexican Pork Tacos Came to Be
Have you ever wondered how these amazing tacos came to be? I am so thankful that someone thought of them! A taco is actually a complete meal by itself. You can even customize the filling according to your preference.
There was a historian named Prof. Jeffrey M. Pilcher from the University of Minnesota who traveled globally and researched on Mexican food. Based on his research, he surmised that tacos originated from Mexican silver mines in the 19th century. This hypothesis came from the first tacos called “taco de minero” which literally translates to “miners’ tacos.” Taco, in Spanish, also refers to the paper that miners use to wrap gunpowder with and stuff them in holes carved in rock.
In the olden days, Mexican women sold tacos and “taquerias” serve the Mexican working class with tacos. The women migrants made a living out of selling tacos in the city which led to a variety of tacos that one can sample. Imagine the different tastes and smells of tacos back then!
In addition, the original tacos were made from soft corn or flour tortillas. Hard tacos became more popular in the US because they stayed fresh longer than the softer ones.
Get Ready for a Taco Party!
Grab your stainless steel taco holders now and dig in! This recipe took me a long time to prepare but the unique traditional taste of Mexican pork tacos made it worthwhile!
Don’t forget to this Traditional Mexican Pork Tacos or Tacos Al Pastor with your friends!
Traditional Mexican Pork Tacos (Tacos Al Pastor)
- 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder
- 3 tbsp achiote paste
- 2 tbsp guajillo chili powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground pepper
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 pineapple cut into 1-inch rounds
- 10 corn tortillas
- 1 white onion finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 avocado diced
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- Slice the pork shoulder into 1/2 inch slices and place in a bowl.
- Add the achiote paste, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, vinegar, and pineapple juice. Mix well until free of lumps and to coat all the pork shoulder pieces.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to marinate.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Get your baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
- Remove the marinated pork from the fridge and evenly arrange it in the baking sheet along with 2 slices of pineapples.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hour or until the pork is slightly charred and the pineapples are roasted.
- Assemble the tacos by putting pork pieces, pineapple, onions, cilantro, diced avocado, and salsa. Serve with lime wedges.