Tacos & Traditions: Brittany's Al Pastor Recipe

Growing up, traditions were a strong part of our family. We had little details throughout the seasons that I could always plan on with great expectation. It also helped that I grew up in a Star's Hallow-esque town where we always a festival or parade to celebrate all kinds of things. Fast forward to my adult years, I continue to carry these beloved traditions with me.

When my now husband and I began dating he joked I could make a “tradition” out of just about anything... Which is where my connection to traditions and tacos begins. Tacos have long been one of my top two favorite foods, toggling between that and cheeseburgers, and my taco loving heart was crushed when he informed me in our early dating years that he quote “doesn’t like Mexican food.” WHAT? How could it be possible for someone not enjoy guacamole, queso, and TACOS! Being the passive, gentle person that I am (sarcasm), I told him that simply could not be true and I made it my personal mission to transform his taste buds.

Now almost 12 years later, I have successfully converted him into a taco loving fool like myself, and with no surprise to him I have indeed been able to turn even tacos into a tradition. No, we aren’t a tacos every Tuesday kind of family, but rather we celebrate with tacos, everything from the big events in life to the small things. Anniversaries, birthdays, even our first meal in our new house- we’ve either gone out for, ordered in, or eventually started making tacos. And I may or may not have eaten tacos every day while pregnant with my son who was born on, you guessed it, National Taco Day.

This recipe was inspired by my husband’s love of carnitas, and my favorite taco, Al Pastor with pineapple. With this recipe, you’ll find the delicious shredded texture of carnitas combined with the sweet and spicy combination you get in a traditional Al Pastor style taco. Make it an extra special celebration with the guacamole trio, inspired by one of our favorite go to restaurants Mercadito. If you love guacamole like I do, what is better than one type of guacamole than THREE!

If you find yourself needing extra incentive to eat tacos, make it a family tradition and say "well we have to... 'cause IT'S TRADITION!" Buen Provecho!

Al Pastor Tacos

3-5 lb pork butt roast
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs salt
1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tbs adobo sauce
1 red onion, diced
1 bottle dark beer
juice of two oranges
juice of two limes
diced pineapple

1. Cube pork roast into 2-inch cubes.
2. Combine cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt and rub cubed meat with spice blend.
3. Preheat pan or instant pot, add 2 tbs olive oil, and brown meat on all sides in batches.
4. Add in diced onion (reserve a few tables spoon for topping tacos later) and sautee until tender.
5. Add in beer and scrape brown bits up from the bottom of the pot. Stir in chopped chipotles and adobo sauce and squeeze in juice of oranges and limes.

6. If using instant pot: Turn off sauté mode and carefully add meat back to instant pot submerged in the liquid. Put on cover and switch to pressure cook or stew/meat. Set to cook for 55 minutes. When time is up do a quick release.

6. If using a crock pot: Place browned meat in the bottom of the crock pot. Cover meat with the liquid and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

7. Remove meat from instant pot or crock pot and shred to desired level of fineness.

8. If you would like a crispy texture place meat on a cookie sheet ladle 1/3 cup liquid over the top and broil until edges begin to brown (about 5 minutes but keep a close eye on it). If not, then you can place the meat back into the cooking liquid and serve. Top with diced pineapple, red onion and cilantro and enjoy!


Guacamole Trio

3 ripe avocados
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ red onion, petite diced
1 jalepeno, diced
juice of one lime
2-3 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

1 mango cubed/sliced
½ tsp chipotle powder
¼ cup pomegranates
¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese
2 slices of cooked bacon, diced
chicharrones or pork rinds

1. Cut avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh of the avocado.

2. Mash avocado with fork. Add in garlic, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice. Salt to taste. I use my kuni bowl and mix everything in there.

3. Split guacamole into three bowls.

For “Mango Chipotle” top with diced mango and sprinkle over top with chipotle powder

For “Pomegranate Queso”, sprinkle crumbled cotija cheese and pomegranates on top

For “Dos Cerdos” mix in diced bacon and top with chicharrones.

Serve with chips, sliced carrots and cucumber, or even dip with additional pork rinds.

Tip #1 If you can’t find ripe avocados place them in one of our sisal bowls will ripen them quickly.

Tip #2 To keep avocado from going brown store in airtight container with one avocado pit in the middle.


by Brittany DeBoer Voss



Brittany DeBoer Voss is no new member to the Badala family. She is a regular contributor to the blog and has long been consulting on the home line. Amongst her responsibilities are regularly reminding Joelle to breathe. She earned her degree in Interior Architecture from Columbia College and is currently raising her littles just outside of Chicago. For more of her life, follow @b.voss on Instagram.

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