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Tacos Al Pastor

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Pineapple on pizza? Eh. Pineapple in a taco? Yes.
Tacos al pastor with grilled pineapple from Pati Jinich

Photo courtesy of Pati Jinich

Pineapple's place in savory food is often — rightfully — up for debate. But we know this much: pineapple belongs in tacos al pastor. Packed with flavor, these pork tacos make for perfect spring or summer grilling. 

Recipe courtesy of Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 Pounds pork shoulder or butt, sirloin cutlets or butterfly chops, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 3 Cups achiote adobo marinade (see note)
  • 1/2 pineapple (cut in the middle, not lengthwise), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 Cup cilantro, roughly chopped, to garnish
  • 1 Cup white onion, roughly chopped, to garnish
  • 2 limes, cut into quarters, to garnish
  • Shredded queso asadero, Mexican Oaxaca or Chihuahua, or any melty cheese of your choice

Directions

Step 1: Marinate the meat in 2 1/2 cups of the adobo marinade for at least 3 hours, or up to 48 hours, in the refrigerator (reserve 3/4 cup of marinade to brush on the pineapple before grilling/cooking and to finish off meat).

Step 2: When ready to make tacos, remove the meat from the refrigerator.

Step 3: Brush some of the reserved marinade on the pineapple slices. Reserve the remaining marinade.

Step 4: Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon oil.

Step 5: Place as many pineapple slices as will fit on the skillet and sear for about 3 minutes per side, until juicy and lightly charred on both sides. Remove from heat. Repeat until all the pineapple has been cooked.

Step 6: When cool enough to handle, cut the pineapple rounds into thin pieces about 1- to 2-inches long and 1/4-inch wide, removing and discarding the core. Place in a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Step 7: Drizzle another tablespoon of oil onto the hot skillet.

Step 8: Lightly sprinkle the meat with salt to taste. Sear as many slices of meat as will fit in the pan, without overcrowding, for about 2 minutes per side until browned on both sides. Cook in batches if necessary.

Step 9: Transfer the meat to a chopping board. Cut it crosswise into thin slices about 1/4-inch thick and 1-inch wide.

Step 10: Once done with all the meat, reduce the heat to medium, place the meat back in the skillet and pour the remaining unused marinade on top. Stir and cook for another minute. Cover and set on the table.

Step 11: On a pre-heated cast iron skillet set over medium heat, heat the corn tortillas 1 to 2 minutes per side until thoroughly cooked, lightly browned and crisp on the outside.

Step 12: Place the tortillas in a tortilla warmer and bring to the table along with the meat, pineapple, chopped cilantro, chopped onion, lime wedges, and salsa of your choice. Quick pickled red onions would be a great addition as well (see video from The Daily Meal's YouTube channel).

Step 13: Let everyone assemble their own tacos.