We love making these simple corn tortilla tacos de adobada that remind us of the ones you find in every corner street stand in Mexico. Lightly spiced chiles and sweet, fresh pineapple add a spicy sweetness that's irresistible – try our recipe below to make these easy tacos at home!
Mexico boasts some pretty fantastic cultural discoveries: tequila, chocolate, and some of the best street food on the planet.
One of the most famous Mexican street foods is tacos, of course, and these adobada tacos are some of our favorites! Spiced with mild guajillo and ancho chiles, even the tamest "gringo” won't burn their mouth for days eating these tacos.
"Tacos de adobada" have a spiced pork base that's cooked while covered to keep all of the deliciously-spiced meat moist. We piled our pork shoulder high with bacon and pineapple to roast in the oven infused with salty-sweet flavor.
From there, you simply slice the cooked stack thin and toss it into some fresh, pan-fried corn tortillas and your toppings of choice – we included fresh lime juice, cilantro, and white onion.
Follow our simple recipe below to transport your home to the streets of Mexico for a fun, unique take on taco night!
2 guajillo chiles
2 ancho chiles
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 bar achiote paste
1/4 c. distilled white vinegar
1/2 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into slightly larger than ¼-inch-thick slices
10 slices of bacon
1 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and thinly cut into ¼-inch slices
4 Tbsp of canola oil
1 c. white onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 c. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
6 limes, cut into quarters
10-20 small corn tortillas
Soak the guajillo and ancho chiles in a bowl of warm water for 10 mins to rehydrate them, then drain the water.
In a blender, combine the ancho and guajillo chiles, garlic cloves, white vinegar, orange juice, and salt and pepper pinch to taste. Secure the blender's lid and blend until all ingredients thoroughly combine to a paste-like consistency. Set aside.
Place a slice of pork shoulder between two clean sheets of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to gently pound the meat until it is quite thin, about ¼-inch thick. Repeat the process until you've flattened all pieces of pork.
Grease a medium-sized baking sheet with cooking oil to help keep your meat from sticking. Once oiled, place a couple of slices of pork on the pan, then season with salt and pepper.
Spread adobada marinade generously over the pork, then top with 3 pieces of bacon and pineapple slices. Start your next pork layer on top of the pineapple and repeat the process until you run out of ingredients. Your pan should have one large layered stack of meat and pineapple. Place the baking sheet in the fridge and leave it to marinate for 2 hrs.
After the meat marinades for 2 hrs, preheat your oven. Pull the baking sheet from the refrigerator and let the pork stand at room temperature for 15 mins.
Drizzle the meat with oil, then place in the preheated oven to roast for 40-50 mins.
Once cooked, pull the baking sheet from the oven and let the pork rest for 10 mins. Then, transfer the pork stack to a cutting board, keeping the pan's oil for later.
Start carving your pile with a sharp knife. Start at one edge, thinly slicing downwards for thin, cooked strips that easily slide into your corn tortillas.
Once the adobada meat is all sliced, use a pastry brush to rub the pan's oil over both sides of your tortillas. Place a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and place the tortillas in the pan until they're sufficiently warmed. Remove the tortillas from the pan.
Assemble your tacos with sliced pork, fresh onion, cilantro, cooked pineapple, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice from the wedges. You can also add fresh salsa, sour cream, and any other taco favorites.
Serve and enjoy your adobada pork tacos!
Adobada is a popular Mexican dish, referring to meat, typically pork, marinated in adobada seasoning – a sauce base with red chiles, oregano, and vinegar. The pork is then wrapped in aluminum foil or in a covered casserole dish to keep the meat moist; we chose to keep the moisture in our meat by stacking it along with juicy, fresh pineapple.
In New Mexico, the pork is usually slightly fermented before it cooks – in place of fermentation, we capture that slightly sour tang with vinegar instead.
Tacos al pastor are very similar to adobada, as they both contain pork with a very similar marinade. The big difference between the two lies in the preparation: adobada cooks covered, while al pastor pork cooks on a spit. The Lebanese brought Middle Eastern cooking techniques like shawarma to Mexico, making spit-cooking grow in popularity.
Adobada is pretty mild on the spice scale, though the heat level varies based on the chile peppers' heat. Guajillo chiles have a Scoville rating of 2,500-5,000 SHU, slightly less than that of a jalapeno, which can be as high as 8,000 SHU. Guajillos are sweet, smoky, and tangy.
Ancho chiles are only 1,000-2,000 SHU, making them very light.
Most people with mild spice tastes will still enjoy tacos de adobada, but if you want to ramp up the heat, add more chiles or a few drops of your favorite hot sauce to the adobada sauce base.
Adobada tacos taste rich, buttery, and perfectly charred. The sweet and mild spiciness of the marinated pork is offset well by its smokiness and the fresh lime and cilantro that top the tacos de adobada.
If you want a bit of creamy coolness, add some chopped lettuce and sour cream or Mexican crema.
If you're using an authentic corn tortilla with no wheat flour, these wraps are entirely gluten-free! You can also serve the meat and toppings on a bowl of steamed white or brown rice in place of a tortilla.
This recipe makes a pretty big batch, perfect for a small dinner party, along with a taco holder for each guest. It's also a fantastic option for meal-prepping quick lunches for the week ahead. The meat doesn't even need to be warmed – simply assemble the taco in the morning, then pack and go!
If you end up with taco leftovers, they keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Any extra pork lasts well in the freezer for up to 3 months – they're still safe to eat after 3 months frozen, but the pork's texture begins to worsen the longer it's frozen.
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