Tacos Al Pastor

The chipotle.

It’s Chip-OT-lay, NOT Chip-OL-tay. Please get this right. Just look at the can and see that the “T” comes before the “L” – and in the English language, you pronounce first the letter that comes first.

(Simmer down, football fans: Yes, there’s the exception of Brett Favre, pronounced Farve for some unknown reason, but we just don’t have the time for that.)

Back to chipotles.

The magic of these babies isn’t really the type of pepper; it’s the preparation. Chipotle peppers are usually jalapenos that are dried through a smoking process that gives them tons of love, a dark red color, and a smoky flavor. The kind that come in the aforementioned can are soaked in a smooth, dark burgundy adobo sauce that’s steeped in the smoky goodness.

They’re the Star of the Show in this recipe for Mexican-street-style pork tacos – and the inspiration behind our Constantina Maria Chipotle Hot Sauce. The term “al pastor” refers to the cooking process, where the meat is stuck on a vertical spit and slowly roasted as it spins around a heat source. We’re not really set up for that in the test kitchen, and we’re betting you’re not either – so we use our handy grill (or grill pan).


½ White Onion, halved

1 Medium Pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

¼ Cup OJ, Fresh-Squeezed

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Constantina Maria Chipotle Hot Sauce

1 Tablespoon Chipotle Chili Powder

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Mexican Oregano

1 Teaspoon Cumin

1 Small Chipotle and 2 Teaspoons Adobo from Can – Plus More to Taste

1 ½ to 2 Pounds Boneless Pork Loin, Sliced

For Serving: Corn Tortillas, Limes, Chopped Cilantro, Queso Fresco


Reserve half of pineapple slices and chill.

Make the marinade by adding first 10 ingredients, including the remaining pineapple, to a food processor. Pulse on the chop setting until smooth. Place pork and marinade in a large zipper bag or non-reactive, sealable baking dish. Coat thoroughly and marinate at least 6 hours, up to a full day.

Heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high, then add reserved pineapple slices. Grill for about 4 minutes per side until they have barely visible grill marks. Add pork to the grill, along with whatever marinade hangs on. Give the pork about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove pineapple and pork slices, and allow everything to rest about 8-10 minutes. Chop pork and pineapple, and toss together.

Grill corn tortillas until slightly toasted, about 15 seconds per side. Serve grilled tortillas with pork and pineapple, and sprinkle with cilantro, queso fresco, and a few drops of Constantina Maria Chipotle Hot Sauce.

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