A Slow Cooker version of the Mexican classic, Tacos al Pastor is made with pork shoulder simmered in an aromatic mixture of pineapple, chiles, garlic, and spices.
There are two things this busy mama relies on regularly now that school is back in session: taco nights and my slow cooker! For real though, they are both lifesavers.
In fact, over the last six years I’ve probably shared hundreds of slow cooker recipes and for good reason! Slow cooking allows flavors to develop and the end result is always tender and juicy. By keeping certain go-to kitchen appliances on hand like a slow cooker, I’m more likely to cook dinner at home which means I’ll save time, calories, and money. Win-win!
For a sweet and savory spin on pork tacos, I decided to create a Slow Cooker version of the Mexican classic: Tacos al Pastor. Boneless pork shoulder is slowly cooked in a puree of juicy pineapple, onions, garlic, and chiles before being shredded and tossed into warmed corn tortillas.
For a little freshness and crunch, I like to serve them with minced red onion, fresh cilantro, and minced pineapple. Lime juice perks up the dish and rounds out the sweet and slightly spicy pork perfectly.
What are your favorite Slow Cooker recipes? I’m all ears now that school is back in session!
Frequently asked questions:
Does pineapple make these tacos sweet?
What is red achiote paste?
Red achiote is a spice blend that includes oregano, black pepper, clove, garlic, salt, annatto, cinnamon, allspice, cumin.
Can I substitute the red achiote paste?
Yes! Use tomato paste instead!
No forks required.
Slow Cooker Tacos al Pastor
- 3 pound boneless pork shoulder
- 2 cups diced pineapple (divided)
- 2 medium onions (one quartered and one diced)
- 6 ounces dried chiles ((such as guajillo,mulato, ancho, arbol, etc))
- ¼ cup lime juice (about 1 big lime)
- 2 ounces red achiote paste
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- corn tortillas (cilantro, minced onion, diced pineapple, lime wedges – to serve)
- Place pork shoulder in a slow cooker and top with 1 cup of the diced pineapple and the diced onion; set aside.
- Remove seeds and stems from dried chilis and place in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water and let steep to soften, about 15 minutes.
- Place softened chilis along with 1 cup of the reserved steeping liquid in a large food processor. Add the remaining 1 cup diced pineapple, quartered onion, lime juice, achiote paste, vinegar, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Puree on high for 60 seconds.
- Drain mixture over a fine mesh strainer placed directly on top of the pork shoulder in the slow cooker insert. Use a rubber spatula to press out all of the liquid and discard what’s left in the strainer.
- Cook pork on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- To serve, shred pork with two forks discarding any large pieces of fat. Serve in warmed corn tortillas with cilantro, minced onion, minced pineapple and any other toppings of choice.
For more great healthy Mexican recipes, check out my Pinterest board!