Pork and Pineapple Tacos. That’s a Post!

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Pork and Pineapple Adobo Tacos

I ate these Pork and Pineapple Adobo Tacos weeks ago. I was so inspired by Ben Mims’ Los Angeles Times recipe for Adobo Roast Pork Shoulder with Pickled Pineapple Salad that I quite literally went out that same day and shopped the recipe. Once I had made the dish I couldn’t stop myself from serving his creation in taco form. I even took a few pictures intending to post my collaboration.

But then something happened to all of my good intentions. I think they call it life.

Sure, I still had the photos (and the memories of those adobo tacos) but I didn’t have much to say.

That’s because I think of pork and pineapple as an awkward duo. Too many slightly queasy adolescent glances across the pizza parlor I suppose.

I’m referring to the awkward pairing of ham and pineapple with the even more unlikely name of Hawaiian Pizza. Even as one of those teenage boys whom biology had predisposed to eat just about anything I thought pineapple was just too weird a pizza topping.

Then I grew into a man and I discovered Al Pastor Tacos. Shards of pork bathed in a chile sauce, dripping with pork fat and roasted pineapple juiceโ€“ the meat neatly folded into a corn tortilla. Suddenly it was if this pairing had always been meant to sit side-by-side.

Pork and Pineapple Adobo Tacos

Well, I’m leaving for Mexico for a few days. The land where Pork and Pineapple Al Pastor first found it’s way into my heart (via my belly). Naturally, I dug up these photos.

I’m still not so sure that I have too much to say, but I did manage to (not) say it in 300 words. According to Google, that’s exactly enough for a post! GREG

Pork and Pineapple Adobo Tacos

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 10-12Source Adapted from Ben Mims for the LA TimesPublished
Pork and Pineapple Adobo Tacos

Ingredients

  • salt and pepper (as needed for seasoning)
  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder (about 4 ½ pounds)
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ pound peeled and cored fresh pineapple (cut into ½-inch chunks, divided)
  • 24 clove peeled garlic
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 3 cup apple cider vinegar (plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 red chile pepper (such as Fresno, thinly sliced)
  • cumin-spiced pepitas (optional, see recipe)
  • fresh mint leaves (optional, as garnsih)

Directions

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Generously rub the pork all over with salt and pepper. Wrap the meat tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 3 days in advance. Allow the pork to come to room temperature before continuing.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned meat to the pot and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove the pork to a plate leaving the fat in the pan.

Place about half of the pineapple into the hot pan. It should sizzle. Add the garlic and bay leaves. Cook, undisturbed, for 30 seconds, then lightly crush pineapple with a spoon and stir it around to pick up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Continue cooking until the pineapple, garlic and bay leaves are well caramelized in spots, about 2 minutes more. Pour the 3 cups vinegar, soy sauce, and water and scrape the bottom of the pot while stirring to pick up the browned bits.

Return the meat to the pot and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pot, place it in the oven and cook for 3 hours, or until the pork is falling-apart tender and the sauce is reduced by about half.

While the pork cooks, place the remaining pineapple into a bowl along with the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, chopped mint, honey, and as much of the sliced chile as you like. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To serve, remove the pot from the oven and let the pork rest for 10 minutes. Using tongs, twist and break apart the meat into large chunks; remove and discard the interior bone. Gently stir the meat to coax chunks of pineapple and garlic on top of the pork, making sure itโ€™s well-coated in the sauce.

Serve the pork with on tortillas topped with the pickled pineapple and garnished with cumin-spiced pepitas and fresh mint leaves (if using).

Cumin-Spiced Pepitas

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 6-8Source Cooking LightPublished
Cumin-Spiced Pepitas

Ingredients

  • ½ cup green pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt (to taste)

Directions

Combine pepitas, cumin, and oil in a bowl; toss to coat. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add pumpkin seed mixture to skillet, and toast, stirring often until lightly browned 2 to 3 minutes.

Scrape the pepitas onto a paper towel-lined plate in as close to a single layer as possible. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and set aside. Once completely cool place them in a small covered bowl. Store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.