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 Works
- 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.
- Yield:Makes about 20 tacos, serving 6 to 8
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 10 minutes
- 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.