I am such a sucker for fruit in savory food. Something about that burst of sweet, sour, juicy flavor in an otherwise traditional dinner just takes things to another level for me. And while I could always just throw some pineapple on a pizza (come at me, haters), I think a far better use is in Tacos Al Pastor. Here, the pineapple serves two purposes: yes, it gives a nice tangy yet sweet bite to the dish, but we also utilize the enzymes in the pineapple (the same ones that make your mouth tingle) to tenderize and marinate the pork. It all leads to a wonderful taco that hits all the right flavor notes.
For the Marinade:
1/2 Pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
5 cloves Garlic
1 Jalapeno, Chopped
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
2 Tbsp Achiote Seasoning (see step 1 for substitution)
Juice of 1 Lime
2 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder
1/2 Pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
Corn Tortillas, Sour Cream, Onion, Cilantro, and other taco accoutrements
- Combine all marinade ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. (Achiote seasoning or paste can be found in the Mexican aisle of most grocery stores. If you cannot find achiote seasoning, combine two parts chili powder with one part each oregano, garlic powder, cumin, and coriander for a workable substitution)
- Slice pork shoulder into 1/2 inch slices against the grain. Place in large bowl with marinade and toss to make sure all pieces are coated. Cover with plastic and place in fridge for at least 6 hours and ideally overnight.
- When ready to serve, heat tortillas in oven on lowest setting.
- Remove pork from marinade and sear in vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until browned and cooked through (about 2 minutes per side). Cook in 2-3 batches to prevent crowding the pan.
- Turn heat down to low and add sliced pineapple. Cook until pineapple deepens in color and warms through, 1-2 minutes.
- Slice pork and pineapple into bite sized pieces and serve.