Tacos Al Pastor

Pressure Cooker “Al Pastor”



Tacos Al Pastor

Pressure Cooker "Al Pastor"

Mike Nadelman
This is my version of Al Pastor made in a 20 quart pressure cooker. With a few adjustments to size, it can also be made in an Instapot. Your choice of chiles for the marinade can also be changed as needed. Originally, the Lebanese version was lamb shawarma, was brought to Mexico in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by a wave of Lebanese immigrants, mainly Christians such as the Maronites who have no religious dietary restrictions on eating pork. In the 1960s, Mexican-born progeny of these immigrants began opening their own restaurants and combining their heritage with Mexican cuisine. Being derived from shawarma, it is also similar to the Turkish döner kebab and the Greek gyros.
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 3 hours
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Pork, Taco
Servings 12 servings



  • 7 lb pork butt shoulder


  • 10 dried guajillo chiles or fresh large chiles
  • 1 7 oz can chipotle in adobe sauce
  • 1 white onion rough chopped
  • 10 pealed garlic cloves
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 0.25 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke any flavor optional
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1.5 cup pineapple juice from a can of pineapple
  • 0.5 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz achiote from a bar or powdered
  • 4 tbsp oil

Pressure Cooker:

  • 5 Large oranges sliced into wedges

Accompaniments / Garnishes:

  • Warm corn tortillas
  • Pineapple chucks
  • Diced white onion
  • Sliced Jalapeno
  • Salsa Verde on this website
  • Pico de Gallo on this website
  • Mexican Rice on this website
  • Refried / Whole pinto beans
  • Cilantro


Pork Prep:

  • Slice off the fat from the pork and roughly cut into pieces. Its ok to have some meat some of the fat. Cook in a cast iron skillet and add some salt. Stir and make chicharon out of the fat. Char some pineapple pieces (fresh pineapple works best) and some pork meat. remove and chop for use in the pressure cooker.
  • Meanwhile slice the trimmed pork into thin slices with a sharp knife and cut against the grain whenever possible. Remove any large fatty pieces and fry with the rest of the fat. Dice the sliced pork into 1-3 inch pieces. and place in a large bowl.


  • Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles. If you use dried chiles, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes first and reserve the water instead of the water used in the ingredient list. Using the ingredients listed above (with the exception of oranges and pineapple chunks), blend in a blender until smooth. Using gloves pour and mix into the pork. Be sure to "massage all the pork" with the marinade. Set aside or cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to 1 day.

Pressure cooker:

  • Use a trivet and an inverted bowl to help keep the pork off the bottom as much as possible. Use the orange wedges to keep the bottom sealed so the pork won't fall through.
  • Put the pork in the pressure cooker, leaving an inch or so of room from the top. Don't worry about it being too full if you use the trivet with an inverted bown in the bottom of the pressure cooker.
  • Added charred pork and charred pineapple on top.
  • Seal the cooker and cook for 2 1/1 hours. It may seem like a long time, but this helps breakdown the fat and connective tissue.
  • Use the natural release method to release the pressure when done cooking.
  • Remove the pork and place in a large tray with a slotted spoon. Reserve the juice from the pressure cooker in case the pork dries out in the serving tray. You might need to taste and add some salt to the mixture.


  • Let guests assemble their own tacos using the accompaniment listed above.


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