You know those actors who seem to spend their entire careers in supporting roles, yet manage to steal every scene they're in? I think about that every time I get a really great al pastor taco. Sure, the crisp-edged marinated pork is the star, but an al pastor taco would be nothing without that sweet sliver of roasted pineapple. I always want more of it. I don't cast movies, but heck, I am the master of my own taco, and if I want to graduate the pineapple from supporting role to star and take that pork back down to bit player, I've got the power to do it.
Why It WorksFlip the script on al pastor and make pineapple the star. Read the Whole Story
- Reversing the ratio of pork to pineapple in al pastor tacos creates a new, but familiar, flavor profile.
- Rubbing the pineapple with a spicy adobo marinade gives it a flavor that straddles sweet and savory.
- For the Adobo Marinade:
- 6 whole dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
- 2 whole chipotle peppers, canned in adobo
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon (2g) oregano, preferably Mexican
- 1 tablespoon (6g) whole cumin seed, toasted and ground
- 1 teaspoon (2g) whole coriander seed, toasted and ground
- Small pinch ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons (25g) dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) Asian fish sauce
- Kosher salt
- For the Pineapple:
- 1 pineapple, skin and core removed, cut into 4 large chunks (about 2 1/2 pounds; 1.15kg pineapple meat)
- 8 ounces (225g) sliced bacon
- For Serving:
- 40 corn tortillas, heated and kept warm
- Charred Salsa Verde
- Crumbled cotija cheese
- Thinly sliced red or green jalapeño or serrano chilies
- Roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
For the Adobo Marinade: Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Place dried ancho chilies on a microwave-safe plate and microwave until pliable and toasty-smelling, 10 to 20 seconds. Transfer to the jar of a blender and add chipotle peppers, olive oil, garlic, oregano, cumin seed, coriander seed, cloves, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Blend until a smooth sauce has formed, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
For the Pineapple: Rub pineapple on all sides with half of the marinade and arrange on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drape pineapple with bacon slices. Transfer to oven and roast until pineapple is tender and deepens in color and bacon is crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
To Serve: Remove bacon and cut into 2-inch pieces. Slice pineapple into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices. Serve pineapple and bacon tucked into double-stacked corn tortillas topped with remaining marinade, salsa verde, cotija, fresh chilies, and cilantro.