These Pork and Pineapple Adobo Tacos borrow from many culinary cultures. You don’t have to decide which one you like best. So dig in because it’s a free-for-all!
- 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)
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 it’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).