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Hotel Jesus · Al Pastor Tacos


We’re back with another authentic Mexican recipe from Melbourne restaurateur Matt Lane, of Collingwood tostaderia Hotel Jesus.

Today, Matt serves up  Hotel Jesus’ take on Al Pastor tacos: a milder, healthier version of the Mexico City staple. The popular dish’s title translates to ‘in the style of the shepherd’ as it was inspired by Lebanese immigrants who brought their shwarama spit-grilled meat to Mexico in the late 19th Century.

14th March, 2017
Matt Lane
Tuesday 14th March 2017

The first time I flew to Mexico City was late at night. I checked into my apartment and walked down the street and stumbled into El Farolito (this was about 15 years ago, yet the place still reigns supreme!). I sat up at the bar and ordered three Al Pastor tacos. They were mind blowing!

Although this type of taco originated in Mexico City, at Hotel Jesus we serve one more akin to the style of Guadalajara. In Mexico City they use a lot of achiote and nitrates (to make the meat more pink in appearance), where we use only a little achiote for a subtle flavour and no nitrates. Going simply by customer perception, no one misses those!


  • 8 corn tortillas (11cm)
  • 400g sliced pork shoulder

For the Al Pastor marinade

  • 20g dry guajillo chilli
  • 30g brown onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 60ml orange juice
  • 30ml apple cider vinegar
  • 20g achiote paste
  • 3g dry oregano
  • 3g black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

For the salsa verde

  • 250g Mexican green tomatillo
  • 40g green chilli
  • 80g brown onion
  • 100ml water
  • Salt to taste

For the garnish

  • 60g brown onion
  • half a bunch of coriander
  • 60g pineapple
  • 1 lime


For the Al Pastor marinade – boil dry guajillo chilli to rehydrate for 10 minutes. While this is happening, sauté  the diced brown onion and crushed garlic.

Drain the chillis and combine in a blender with all other ingredients.

With your hands, rub the marinade over the pork shoulder and set aside.

For the salsa verde – boil brown onions (quartered) and green chillis in water for 10 minutes. Drain and blend with drained green tomatillos, 100ml water and salt to taste. Chill

For the garnish – dice the brown onions and fresh pineapple. Roughly chop coriander and cut lime into wedges.

In a hot frying pan, fry each slice of pork for 2 minutes on each side or until brown. Finely shred the pork.

Gently warm your tortillas in a dry pan.

You are now ready to assemble your tacos!

Inside the authentically styled Smith Street tostaderia Hotel Jesus.  Production / Styling – Nat Turnbull. Photo – Eve Wilson.

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