Recipe: Charcut’s Al Pastor Tacos

For the past three years, Charcut chefs Connie Desousa & John Jackson have been presenting at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge‘s Christmas in November.

This year, the duo shared latin-inspired dishes from their Charbar menu, including an innovative way to cook al pastor tacos. The dish, which originates from central Mexico, was inspired by shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by the Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Marinated pork is layered on a vertical spit and topped with a pineapple – as the meat rotates and cooks with the fat and juices slowly dripping down, slices of cooked meat are sliced off for taco time.

While I’ve eaten many an Al Pastor pork taco at restaurants or food trucks, I’ve never tried to make al pastor tacos at home because I don’t have a rotisserie. But that will all change thanks to chef Connie & John’s al pastor taco hack that uses a loaf pan.

My Mexico Al Pastor Tacos
Recipe courtesy of Charcut chefs Connie Desousa & John Jackson

1/4 pineapple, peeled
1/4 onion, white or yellow, sliced
1 Tbsp guajillo chile powder
1/2 garlic clove
1 Tbsp line juice
1 Tbsp pineapple juice
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
pinch dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
pinch ground cumin
1/2 small chipotle chiles
1/4 – 1/2 tsp adobo from canned chipotle chiles
350 ground boneless Alberta Pork loin
230 g ground chorizo sausage, raw
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
25 corn tortillas, small – 3-4 ”
1/4 lbs butter diced in bowl
to taste – Vellentina or Frank’s hot sauce
12 limes, Mexican cut wedges

Taco Meat Preparation
Slice pork loin into thin medallions about 1 cm thick. Marinade pork medallions in pineapple and lime juice, salt, oregano, cumin garlic cloves, and chilli powder.

On a rotisserie spit or in a loaf pan, layer the pork and sausage meat pressing to flatten out as you layer. Once completed, top the with peeled pineapple. Cook over medium heat on rotisserie or in an oven at 350F until internal temperature is 155F. Remove and rest on sheet pan for 15 minutes.

To Assemble Taco
Add hot sauce and butter to small pot and heat until butter melts. Whisk until emulsified. Heat corn tortillas in pan with small amount of butter and when hot remove and set on plate covered with damp towel so it does not dry out.

Assemble garnish in small bowls, sliced onion, lime wedges, pickled cilantro, and hot sauce. Right before serving slice the meat thinly kebab style again the grain. Serve while still hot along with the hot sauce, garnishes and tortillas.