Asian pork al pastor, that’s a bit of a contradiction, isn’t it? There are cooks who cringe at the bastardization of traditional recipes. How dare I use soy sauce as a substitute for achiote, as there are absolutely no similarities between the two. This is know, but I needed something for color and flavor, and when I added some minced ginger, garlic and sesame oil and the Asian pork al pastor was born. Do not judge, until you try it.
Grilling is definitely the best method to cook the pork. After marinating in pineapple overnight, the meat is made so tender from the fruit’s enzymes that it is almost falling apart. So you certainly need some kind of grid to place on the grill grates if you decide that this is the way to go. The other option is to cook the meat in a pan in the stove top, but you won’t achieve the same smokey results. Also, if you fire up the grill, you may as well grill your tortillas as well. The combination of the sweet, tender pork, smokey tortillas and the spicy pineapple salsa is a classic one, with a bit of an Asian twit. Because that’s how I roll.
Loosely adapted from Steven Raichlen’s Tacos al Pastor
1 cup sliced pineapple in juice
1/2 medium onion
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tbls minced garlic
1 tbls sesame oil
1 whole jalapeno
2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of fat, cut into 1/4 inch slices
corn or flour tortillas
1. Add all marinade ingredients into a blender. Puree until smooth. Combine marinade and sliced pork into a large ziploc bag, mix, seal and place into a large bowl. Allow to marinate in fridge for at least 4 hours and up to one day.
2. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
3. Drain pork from marinade and grill on a grill grid or basket over medium high heat until center of meat is no longer pink.
4. Once pork is cooked, wrap in foil to keep warm.
5. Grill tortillas until warm and blistered in some spots. Serve pork on tortillas with pineapple salsa.