Instant Pot Al Pastor

Instant Pot Al Pastor

Serves 6 to 8

 Traditionally roasted on a spit, cooking tacos al pastor, a popular street food in Mexico, at home requires a bit of creative cooking to mimic the technique. For this version, the flavor and essence of this dish is evoked by roasting the pork until super tender in a pressure cooker and then broiling it to get that cooked-on-a-spit char. Serve with the onion and cilantro mixture, your favorite salsas, and limes to create a festive DIY taco bar.


  • 8 guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 small pineapple (2 ¾ pounds), peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into ½-inch pieces, divided
  • 1 medium white onion, half roughly chopped, half finely chopped, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) achiote paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried epazote, or dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon canned chopped chipotle in adobo
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless pork shoulder, roughly cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Warmed corn tortillas, salsa, and lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, cover guajillo chiles with boiling water. Place a plate over the chiles to keep submerged and soak until softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. Set a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl and drain chiles, reserve liquid. Add the drained chiles, half of the pineapple, the roughly chopped onion, the garlic, vinegar, achiote paste, oregano, chipotle, and 2 tablespoons of salt. Pour in 1 cup of the reserved liquid and blend until smooth.
  3. Combine the pork and marinade in an electric pressure cooker. Lock the lid and set to Pressure Cook on high for 30 minutes. Quick release pressure when the timer is finished. Using a slotted spoon, remove pork from pressure cooker to a plate. Set instant pot to Saute on high and bring the marinade to a boil. Boil until thickened into a sauce, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to broil with a rack in the highest position. Add the remaining pineapple to a large rimmed baking sheet and broil until lightly charred, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  5. Scrape cooked pork onto the rimmed baking sheet and broil until lightly charred in places, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Break up pork with two forks and toss with 1 cup of the reduced sauce.
  6. In a small bowl, combine cilantro with remaining finely chopped onion. Serve pork in tortillas topped with charred pineapple and some of the onion mixture and remaining sauce. Serve with salsa and lime wedges on the side.


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