Skip Nav
Easy Roasted Chicken Breast Recipe
Original Recipes
20 Minutes Is All You Need For the Best-Ever Baked Chicken Breasts
Food Network
The Pioneer Woman's Most Popular Casseroles Will Inspire You to Cook
Hershey's
Reese's and Hershey's Whipped Creams Really Exist, So I'm Never Eating Waffles Plain Again

Difference Between Carnitas, Carne Asada, and Al Pastor

Carnitas, Al Pastor, Barbacoa: Here's the 411 on Mexican Meats

The beer-drinking backdrop of a hot afternoon or evening would pair perfectly with a festive Mexican feast of tacos and grilled meats. But with a menagerie of Spanish monikers from carnitas to carne asada, taco meat terminology can get a bit confusing. Here's the breakdown of Mexican meats:

  • Carne asada: Grilled, marinated pieces of beef (typically sirloin or rib) served inside burritos and tacos.
  • Carnitas: Shoulder of pork that's been seasoned, braised until tender with lard and herbs (oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, garlic), pulled apart, and then oven-roasted until slightly crisp, then eaten alone or used as a filling for tacos, tamales, tortas, and burritos.
  • Al pastor: Crisp-thin shavings of vertical spit-roasted pork, marinated with guajillo chiles and achiote, then served on tortillas. Pastor means "shepherd," the name given to Lebanese merchants who immigrated to Mexico City in the early 1900s, bringing the concept of shawarma with them.
  • Cochinita pibil: Whole suckling pig or pork shoulder that's marinated in citrus with achiote, then wrapped in banana leaves and roasted. Historically, it's buried in a pit with a fire at the bottom.
  • Barbacoa: Traditionally, beef cheek and head that's covered in leaves from the maguey plant, then slow cooked over a wood fire in a pit in the ground. In America today, it also refers to spicy, shredded, slow-braised beef that's been made tender, then pulled apart.

Got all that? What Mexican meat goes in between your tortillas?

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
From Our Partners
New Nordstrom Clothes August 2018
Best Floral Tops 2018
Sexy '90s Rap Music Videos
Weird Ice Cream Flavors
Best Flats | Rothy's Review
Katie Sturino x Bruna Malucelli CoEdition Collection
Ashley Graham's White Bikini With Crochet Cover-Up
Priyanka Chopra Striped Dress With Nick Jonas
Kourtney Kardashian Floral Thong Bikini July 2018
Jennifer Lopez's Red Minidress 2018
Sexy Beyoncé Pictures 2018
Best New Songs Summer 2018
From Our Partners
Latest Recipes, Menus, Food & Wine
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds