A summer of tacos

Look to the grill for a fast, easy crowd-pleaser.
Photo by Stacy Feyer Salo

It’s summertime, and when it comes to cooking at home, the grill is king.

Guests are showing up, so when the house is hot and there is a need for something tasty to serve to a crowd, chill out, crack a cold one and cook up one of my favorite summer staples. Getting outside and putting some tasty tacos al pastor over the coals can change a whole day for the better. This recipe comes from many days spent outside with friends drinking and grilling, and it is a guaranteed party pleaser. It’s a little spicy, very fresh, and an outstanding take on tacos!

Keep in mind that the longer you marinate, the more flavor you’ll pack into your pork, so don’t be shy about adding a prep day to your party planning. When it comes to grilling, I always like to go for a nice char. Go low and slow on the pork, but feel free to grill to your taste and even finish in the oven if necessary. Another key to successful tacos is slicing the pork against the grain. Very thin pieces will produce the most tender bites!


5-6 lbs. boneless pork butt


3.5 oz achiote paste

2 tbsp guajillo chili powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp oregano

1.5 tbsp cumin

1.5 tbsp salt

1 tbsp black pepper

1 cup white vinegar

1 white onion, sliced into thick rings

1 cup pineapple juice

1 pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into rings

2 large cans chipotle en adobo

1/3 cup olive oil

½ cup finely chopped cilantro

12 grilled corn or flour tortillas

Hot sauce of choice to taste

Process: Gather all ingredients. Cut pork butt down into equal manageable portions. Mix all wet and dry ingredients into a freezer storage bag or plastic container and marinate the pork butt for at least four hours, but preferably 12. Preheat grill with or without a hotplate or cast-iron skillet to roughly 450 degrees — charcoal also is highly recommended for depth of flavor. Grill your pork to an internal temperature of 155 degrees while also grilling the onion and pineapple rings for a nice char. Place pork on chopping board and very thinly slice against the grain. Chop grilled onions and mix with cilantro. Throw tortilla on the grill until warm and dress to taste!

This story can be found in the May/June 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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