Tacos are the best known Mexican dish in the world, and surely the first thing people think of when Mexican food comes to mind. However, there is a type of taco that its method of preparation is different from all the others and may even look similar to other types of dishes such as kebabs, gyros and shawarmas. Do you know which one it is? I'm talking about the delicious taco al pastor. This type of taco although is found all over the country is more emblematic of Mexico City, yet today we will discover that it is neither so chilango (originally from Mexico City) nor completely Mexican.
This kind of taco originated in the 1920's when Lebanese and Syrian migrants came to Mexico in the pursuit of a new and better life. Along with them, they brought their rich cuisine and their traditional Shawarma, which is served in a flatbread with lamb meat and different spices for seasoning.
This dish began to evolve and it was then that the descendants of the first migrants of the Middle East gave a twist to this dish. The meat was switched from lamb to pork, the flatbread to corn tortilla and as expected, the spices were changed to achiote and of course chili. f you have had the chance of ordering some in Mexico, you will surely have been asked the inevitable question -Con todo? piña? cebolla? - Because typically they are also eaten with pineapple, onion and cilantro and as a final touch, a few drops of lime and some green sauce to finish off this delicacy, but of course, that depends on your likings.
Another eye-catching thing about these tacos is the way they are served, if you have been in a taqueria where they offer tacos al pastor you surely noticed that the slices of marinated pork are stacked on a trompo -a skewer about 60 cm high- and next to it is the skillful taquero. And I say skillful, because wow, it really takes practice to get the pineapple and onion to fall right into the taco.
Throughout Mexico you will find taquerias with their red meat trompo al pastor, which each taquero has its own recipe for marinating the meat, and then slowly roasting it with each turn of the trompo.
Whatever the secret recipe is, there is no denying that these tacos are a Mexican favorite, thanks to the mixture of the flavor of the browned meat with the pineapple, lime and its salsita.
If you want to try another recipe with carne al pastor we recommend you try the following recipe:
Gringa al pastor
Another way of enjoying the pastor that we love is the gringa al pastor. This name was given after some American students living in Mexico City, did not like to eat tacos with corn tortillas and one day asked the taquero to make them a taco in a flour tortilla that already had cheese inside. They loved this and they kept coming back and ordered the same thing, as well as many other customers. As time went by, this became more popular and the famous gringa de pastor was born.
Preparing one is very simple, just take a flour tortilla, fill it with cheese and the meat as if it were a quesadilla and heat it up in a pan. To finish you can add onion, pineapple, cilantro, lime and the sauce of your choice.