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James Beard Award-Winning Chef Jose Garces' Tacos Al Pastor With Smithfield

James Beard Award

Fall is officially here and with Día de Los Muertos right around the corner, James Beard Award-winning Chef Jose Garces has created a Tacos al Pastor recipe with Smithfield pork perfect for the lively fiesta.

Though Chef Garces is featuring the flavorful tacos at his restaurants, the recipe, featuring fresh Smithfield pork, pineapple, and guajillo chile, can be recreated at home for a party dish guaranteed to please all guests, living or dead!

See below for all the details on how to bring this dish to life.

James Beard Award 300x225 - James Beard Award-Winning Chef Jose Garces' Tacos Al Pastor With Smithfield

  Beard Award 300x226 - James Beard Award-Winning Chef Jose Garces' Tacos Al Pastor With Smithfield

Tacos al Pastor with Red Beans and Oaxaca Cheese Cornbread

Recipe by Chef Jose Garces for Smithfield


5 lbs. Smithfield® Prime Boneless Pork Shoulder Picnic Roast, sliced 1/8-inch thick

Tacos al Pastor

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rings
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup guajillo chile puree (guajillo chiles soaked in hot water and blended in blender until smooth)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican dried oregano
  • Fresh corn tortillas


  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Place garlic, onion and pineapple on aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Cook until all items are well caramelized but not burned. Remove from oven and place in a pot with remaining ingredients except pork and corn tortillas. Simmer for 10 minutes. Puree in blender until smooth. Place in refrigerator to cool completely.
  2. Place pork in cooled marinade; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  3. Warm fresh corn tortillas gently in a small skillet over low heat. Wrap tightly in a warm wet towel and place in 200°F oven until ready to serve.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over high. Season pork slices with salt and pepper; add to skillet and cook until well caramelized. Do not overcrowd the pan, work in batches if necessary. Cook until pork is just cooked through.
  5. Serve in warm corn tortillas with Red Beans and Oaxaca Cheese Cornbread on the side.

Red Beans

  • 1 Smithfield® Recipe Ready Smoked Ham Hock
  • 1 cup diced Smithfield® Smoked Ham
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 3 cups dried red beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup diced russet potatoes
  • 1 cup diced butternut squash


  1. Combine ham hock and chicken stock in large stock pot; simmer for 3 hours until hocks are very tender. Strain thoroughly and cool, reserving stock. Remove tender hocks and chop into bite-size pieces.
  2. Cook onions and red pepper in large stock pot until tender. Add beans and reserved ham hock stock. Simmer until beans are very tender.
  3. Add ham hock meat and remaining ingredients; cook until mixture is thickened and potatoes and squash are cooked tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Oaxaca Cheese Cornbread

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 jalapeño, roasted and diced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 3 cups (12 oz.) grated Oaxaca cheese


  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Place oven rack in center of oven.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each until blended.
  3. Mix together cornmeal, baking powder and salt in separate bowl. Gradually beat into butter mixture until combined.
  4. Fold in Oaxaca cheese, corn kernels and diced jalapeño. Spoon batter into greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or 8-inch square baking pan) and bake 15 to 18 minutes until golden.
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