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Earthy and Acidic Al Pastor Marinade

Updated: Jun 7

Al Pastor is traditionally made by taking cuts of pork, marinading them in an earthy chili/ achiote marinade, and then spit roasting them with pineapple on top. It's probably my all time favorite taco, and I wanted to find a way to utilize those flavors in my kitchen this summer. The marinade is the really important thing here, once you've got that, you've got your ticket to al pastor anytime.


Prep Time: Cook Time: Serves:

5 minutes 10 minutes 1 pint of marinade

Al Pastor Marinade 6 Guajillo

2 Ancho

2 Arbol

1/4 White onion

4 Garlic cloves

25g Achiote paste

177 ml can pineapple juice (small can)

Bay leaf

3-5g Sugar

Season to taste with...




White vinegar

To make the marinade, bring a pot of water to simmer and add 6 guajillo chiles with the seeds and stems removed, 2 ancho chiles with the seeds and stems removed, and 2 arbols also with the seeds and stems removed. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf then simmer this for 10 minutes. This time will soften all of the chiles and veggies and allow you to blend them into a smooth paste. After the 10 minutes, everything should be nice and soft, so transfer the chiles, onion and garlic to a blender (leave the bay leaf out). Add in a small can of pineapple juice, the achiote paste, salt, sugar, oregano, cumin, and a splash of white vinegar. You'll need to add a little clean water to make sure it blends smoothly. You could strain this if your blender struggles to get a smooth mix. That's really it, it's so simple, but so so versatile. This makes about a pint, so be sure to freeze some for the next time you need it.



Hey, I'm Cameron, and I'm glad you're here. I post new recipes every week, all intended to build your confidence in the kitchen, each one with video tutorials to help. Craving something specific? Drop me a note in my contact form! 

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