Paleo Whole30 Al Pastor : This dish is chunks of pork marinated in a pineapple, chili mixture produces the most tender and juicy pork ever!
I fell in love with this dish when I lived in Arizona. There was a food truck that specialized in Mexican food and it was all good, but nothing as good as this. I got the Al Pastor Quesadilla and my taste buds were changed forever. I immediately went home and looked up a recipe for this, unknown to me, dish. I was amazed at how easy it was and how perfect it came out. The only difference now is that I don’t eat it in a tortilla loaded with cheese. I honestly don’t even miss the tortilla. Eating it alone gives the allows all the flavor of the meat to come through.
The smell of the chilis toasting is incredible. It smells smokey, almost like a camp fire. When I added the water it caused us to cough, so I recommend turning the fan on and opening the door when you cook them.
Break the stems off the chilis and remove most of the seeds. Toast them in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes and add water. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until soft. While this is happening, cut pork into 1 inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Also, cut and core pineapple and place half of it in a food processor.
Add the onion, chili powder, salt, oregano, and garlic and blend until mostly smooth. Pour over the pork and let marinade for 30 minutes. DO NOT let it marinade any longer because pineapple contains an enzyme that breaks the pork down and will make it mushy.
While that is marinading, make the pineapple salsa. Cut the remaining half of pineapple into small, bite-size pieces. Dice half on a medium onion and mix it with the pineapple. Add lime juice and salt and chill until ready to serve.
Cook in batches for 4-5 minutes a side or until cooked through. Include some of the marinade with each batch. It took me four batches to cook it all, but I could’ve used a bigger pan to save time. This would also be good on the grill if you left the pork in larger pieces.
Make ahead tip: Cut the pork ahead of time and keep it in the fridge in a large bowl. Make the marinade and keep it in a separate bowl in the fridge. The day you make it, combine the pork and marinade 30 minutes before cooking.
You will love this because it is easy, flavorful, and healthy. It’s amazing how tender this pork is being so lean. I’ve had a lot of dry pork and this is not it!
- Trim off all large pieces of fat and cut the pork in 1 inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
- Take the two chipotle peppers and break the stem off and shake the seeds out. Slightly break up with hands and place in a dry skillet. Toast over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until aromatic.
- Add a couple cups of water and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.
- Meanwhile, cut and core the pineapple and place half of it in the food processor. Set the other half aside for now.
- Cut the onion into large chunks and remove skin and ends. Place in the food processor with the pineapple.
- Add the rehydrated peppers (without the water), garlic, chili powder, vinegar, oregano, and salt. Process until mostly smooth. Slightly chunky is fine.
- Pour over the pork and let marinade for 30 minutes. DO NOT let it marinade any longer because the pineapple contains an enzyme that breaks the pork down and causes it to become mushy.
- While the pork is marinating, make the pineapple salsa. Cut the remaining half pineapple into bite-size pieces. Dice half of an onion and mix it with the pineapple. Add the lime juice and salt and chill until ready to serve.
- Cook the pork in batches on a frying pan. No oil is needed because of the sauce. Do not overcrowd the pan- it took me four batches to cook it all.
- Serve with salsa over cauliflower rice, on a salad, or out of a bowl.
Recipe adapted from Confessions of a Foodie Bride