delicacy, invented some thirty years ago in Mexico City
tacos al pastor are invariably eaten in a restaurant, because to make them you need a vertical broiler, which nobody has at home.
The meat is pork, seasoned with red stuff that I assume to be achiote. Slice upon slice of meat is impaled upon the vertical spit, which is then topped with a whole pineapple and occasionally an onion.
The spit is then mounted in the vertical broiler, and the cooking process begins. As the outer layer of the huge ball of meat (it is actually called la bola) roasts, the cook (actually a specialized guy, called el pastorero) trims off the cooked bits and collects them in something that resembles a dustpan.
The complete taco employs tortillitas: the pastorero
- dips briefly the tortillita in the drip pan (didn't I mention that the meat is quite fatty and releases large amounts of fat ?)
- slices off meat on the tortillita
- slashes at the pineapple (which is also cooking) and catches the falling slice with the tortillita.
is then served with raw chopped onion
, hot sauce
, and lime
. Since the individual taco is quite small, you can easily eat five. Or ten. Especially if you are drinking Negra Modelo
One of the best places for tacos al pastor in Mexico City is called El Tizoncito, and it is actually a local mini-chain of restaurants. Also very good is El rincón de la lechuza on Miguel Angel de Quevedo. Another tasty one is Charly II on Av. San Fernando in Tlalpan.
I noded this delicate low-fat, low-cholesterol, vegetarian food item in the plural because you can never eat just one
taco al pastor.