Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Pork Tacos

Mariel here. Last weekend my old man came into the city for an impromptu family dinner. When I dine with my dad, he never strays too far from his favorites so I wasn’t surprised when he honed in on a local Mexican joint. He also makes a point of requesting the hottest, spiciest, most sweat-inducing jalapenos north of Tijuana and then revels in our shock as he spreads them on whatever adorns his plate.

Like my pops, I’ve been known to dabble in predictability when it comes to restaurant dining. I cook so often that when I do get cooked for, I’d rather not be disappointed. So when I head for the border, I always order Tacos al Pastor: zesty roasted pork marinated in “secret” spices and served alongside pineapple and cilantro. While it’s tough to ape this authentic dish at home – unless you have a standing rotisserie – I decided to try my hand at a Feast-ified version easy enough for a fledgling chef with a wee-little kitchen that’s depressingly devoid of a proper spit.

The results were outstanding. Taking a cue from my mom’s Chipotle-Spiced Pulled Pork, I marinated the pork shoulder in a sprightly mix of pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, jalapeno, fresh garlic and green chiles, then slow-roasted it in a big fat Le Creuset French Oven. After 3½ painstakingly slow hours of whiffing the most incredible aroma known to man, I was delighted to find that the pork was so tender it was falling off the bone, unprompted. That’s when the real magic happens. I shredded the meat, returned it to the pan to sop up every last drop of pineapple then splayed it out on warm tacos and garnished it with fresh cilantro, julienned mango, lime wedges and a dollop of homemade Roasted Tomato Salsa, which I’ll share next week. Heaven. HEAVEN. I’ve been enjoying the leftovers the past week and each day it gets better than the last.

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Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Pulled Pork Tacos
Serves 6-8, depending on your appetite

Reheating note: After a day in the fridge, your pork may appear dry. It isn’t – the fat and drippings have congealed, that’s all. Rather than reheating the pork over a big bright flame, gently warm it up over a very low flame on the stovetop, stirring frequently. All those delicious juices will magically reappear, they just take a little coaxing. If you absolutely must, add a splash of chicken broth (but I reheated my pulled pork for four days and didn’t have to do this, but hey, no judgment).

Ingredients:
4-5 lb pork shoulder, bone in – $7.60
20-oz can of pineapple chunks in natural juices (avoid the stuff in heavy syrup!) – $2.39
½ to 1 whole large jalapeno, de-seeded and roughly chopped (depends on how hot you like it) – $0.75
1 large sweet onion, chopped – $0.89
1 clove of minced garlic – stock
4-oz can of chopped green chiles – $1.49
2 teaspoons of salt – stock
1 teaspoon of black pepper – stock
2 teaspoons of cumin – stock
1 teaspoon of chili powder – stock
1 Tablespoon of olive oil – stock
Taco tortillas – $1.49
1 ripe mango, julienned (optional) – $1.49
2 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped (optional) – $0.89
2 limes, cut into wedges (optional) – $0.49
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen (not including optional toppings): $14.61
Cost per serving: $2.43

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a bowl, combine the pineapple and every last drop of its juice, the jalapeno, green chiles and minced garlic. In a separate smaller bowl, prepare your dry rub: toss together the salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin.

3. Trim the excess fat from the pork shoulder (and stifle your gag reflex for this part, ick). Massage the dry rub all over the pork.

4. In a large heavy French Oven (or a lidded stockpot or deep casserole pan), heat the olive oil over medium-high flame. Once piping hot, brown the pork shoulder on all sides, ’til it reaches a nice golden tone. This takes about 10-12 minutes, total. Remove the pan from the hot burner. Scatter the chopped onions around the pork, then pour in the pineapple-y marinade, taking care to spoon some of it on top of the pork itself.

5. Cover the pot (or seal tightly with tinfoil) then pop it in the preheated oven. Roast for 3 to 3 ½ hours, or until the pork practically starts falling all over itself when you jab it with a fork.

6. Once cooked, shred the pork with two forks (since the meat is hot-hot-hot), and discard the bone and any excess gristle – i.e. if you don’t want it in your taco, trash it. Return the shredded pork to the pot with all the delicious pineapple drippings and give it a good stir before transferring to a large bowl.

7. If you have a lot of crispy drippings stuck to the bottom/sides of the pan, consider de-glazing it with a little bit of chicken stock or white wine. If you’re new to de-glazing, this entails pouring about 1/4-cup of the aforementioned liquid into the pan, then heating it over med-high on the stove top taking care to scrape up anything stuck to the bottom/sides. You’ll create a super-flavorful pan sauce that you can then pour over the pulled pork.. This isn’t a necessary step, but it’s a delicious one.

8. Finally (if desired), warm your taco tortillas in a skillet over a gentle flame, then add the pork and whatever toppings you crave: I suggest cilantro, julienned mango, lime wedges and homemade salsa, as referenced above.

Comments

  1. Virginia says

    I have wanted a Le Creuset since I started cooking at age 6!!! I keep telling myself to hold out for a wedding present, but I’m still single without my Le Creuset! Love, love, love these and I never cease to marvel at the beauty and craftsmanship of this cookware.

  2. Deb says

    HI! I’d love to win this beautiful pot; I have been following you faithfully, but do not have a blog. Thanks! (You can reach me by e-mail!)
    Deb

  3. says

    “DONE” all the above…
    I would not know where to begin with what I would cook in the Le Creuset 1st…it has been a dream of mine to own some.
    All I do know is that this Little Aussie would be in 7th Heaven to win one of these and I think the pineapple pork might be one of the 1st things I would try..it sounds DELISH!
    This was “DEF” something I would be blogging about and sharing recipes too :)

    GOOD LUCK EVERYONE {{{HUGS}}}

  4. anj says

    Oh…if I had this pot, the things I would make! I’d bake bread and bread pudding, baked pasta and roasts, casseroles, stews and chili….YUM! With Le Creuset, the possibilities are limitless! Pick me please!

  5. Cindy says

    I want to make this exact recipe if I win the giveaway! Tacos al Pastor are my absolute FAVORITE. I’ve never seen them served with mango though, and am anxious to try that – sound delicious. I have liked you & Le Creuset on FB.

  6. says

    I really, really want to make cinnamon rolls in a Le Creuset. Someone had some once that were so perfect, so divine that I can’t seem to replicate. I’m convinced it’s the cast iron that helped them bake up so perfectly.

  7. says

    Hi there!

    I would love to win this for my mum as she is always looking for extra things for her kitchen so this would be amazing! Especially as she likes to make a lot of casseroles and things which this would be ideal for :-) I also love cooking…so this would be well used!

    You can contact me on my email address which I have provided, if I win.

    I have liked le creuset on facebook and I have liked feast on the cheap on facebook.

    Thanks :-)
    Gem x

  8. Guthrie says

    I would roast a chicken over some rosemary potatoes, to start. *fingers crossed* It would be fun to win the French Oven…
    Love the taco recipe; I want that for dinner tonight!

  9. Terry says

    Oh the things I’d make! No-knead bread, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, a lovely bison stew, your yummy-sounding pineapple pork, the list goes on and on.

  10. says

    I would use this for so many things! Carnitas, Bouef Borginouion, stew, pot roast…ok now I’m hungry! The recipe looks amazing too, I am defenitly adding it to my must try list!

  11. says

    I’ve been a newsletter subscriber for awhile, so I just LIKED you and Le Creuset on FB. I’ll just say hi and mention I’m looking forward to making this latest recipe. If I win, you can reach me at delaneydiamond(at)ymail(.)com. Great contest!

  12. Jenn says

    I have no idea what I’d make… I got a Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas and still haven’t used it because I’m scouring for the perfect recipe to celebrate the momentous occasion. I anticipate this being the same way.

    • feastonthecheap says

      Ha, I love it! We’re a family of “picklers” too, as in, I’ll buy a pair of shoes that I LOVE and then never wear them because I don’t wanna mess them up. If you’re ever looking to break in that mixer, I have a suggestion…my Nana’s Chocolate Gateau with Crushed Almonds. If you’re a choco-phile, nothing beats it.

  13. says

    Now you’re speaking my language. Those tacos look a.mazing! My husband had a propensity to go for the hot stuff as well. He always asks for the salsa behind the counter, so to speak.

    That Le Creuset pot isn’t have bad either. Sign me up!

  14. says

    Hi Mary Anne and Mariel – I wanted to stop by and let you know that I think your site looks lovely. I love the colors, text, the photographs, and of course the recipes. Oh, and of course J’adore Le Creuset and hope to enjoy a piece of my own! Please enter me to win

  15. says

    My Le Creuset pieces are among the most loved, well-used things in my kitchen. Couldn’t live without them and I’m always coveting new pieces!

    Have loved them on facebook for a while, but now I also love you!

  16. Jessica says

    I have been wanting a Le Creuset for a long time now, I just haven’t had the extra cash to splurge on one! This giveaway makes me happy :)

  17. Alice Olson says

    Well! This came just in the nick of time. I dropped my French Oven lid on my cook top (I know, I know, when it comes out of the oven, it’s hot — and it stays hot for quite some time. Big cracks in the cook top, small chunk out of the lid. I’ve bought and installed the new cook top — now I need to replace that broken lid. Only one entry from me, however. I don’t know from twitter.

  18. Emily E says

    I would happily make brisket tacos….a recipe I found on Homesick Texan’s blog. I’ve been craving Mexican food like crazy lately! Thanks for doing this giveaway. Le Creuset is the absolute BEST!

  19. Ellen Welty says

    Mmmm – I love shredded pork tacos. I like cast iron for lots of cooking and I’m making chicken stock right now in a soup kettle that is just a bit too small so a new French Oven would be divine!

  20. Amy S. says

    Entered your contest! So excited to win a piece of Le Creuset! I have so many plans on what to cook in it, that there are too many to list! :)

  21. says

    What I’d make with my Le Creuset? POT ROAST! Only a few can resist the appeal and nostalgia of good ‘ol fashoned comfort “home cookin” food

  22. Janelle Downey says

    I follow you on both Twitter and Facebook–I tweeted and posted!
    @janelledowney Janelle Downey
    Feast on the cheap: Sweet & spicy pineapple pulled pork and a Le Creuset giveaway: http://bit.ly/dSh9iQ

  23. Julie Phelps says

    Oh, Mariel! I am making this with the French Oven when I win it!!! This recipe sounds AWESOME! Living in Texas, I can agree– Tacos al Pastor are the BEST! (Only in Texas, we don’t make ‘em with the fruit– but it sounds AWESOME!) Can’t wait to try it! Pick ME!!!!

  24. sadie earl says

    i am gonna make these tacos! they look amazing. i am 43 and have fondled le creuset every time i find it, yet i do not own a piece. not because i don’t think it is worthy…but i have never had the expendable $. i have passed the obsession on to my teenaged daughter and we stand in williams sonoma and wonder if there is any chance we could win the lottery and buy an entire set :) i am happy to find your site, your recipes look amazing!

  25. Kim says

    If I won, I’d have to make these tacos! Or a yummy roast, or a chicken and veggies. I ♥ Le Creuset! Wait, I’m going to have to make these tacos, regardless of whether I win or not. I’m sure my big braiser would do. Yummy! I “like” both Feast on the Cheap and Le Creuset on Facebook.

  26. Paula Chase says

    In this GOURGEOUS fennel green wonder of a Dutch oven I would start out with my own homegrown pork loin, raid the cellar for apples, potatoes, and onions; and put together a pork with apples braised roast. A bit of Ginger root, some boiled cider for depth, and some fresh sage leaves. I’m getting hungry, where do I get my pot?

  27. Chrissie says

    Oh MY – how I want this dutch oven! Already had Let Creuset “liked” on FB and just “liked” this great site too! I love a slow roasted pork, so I’d have to make a Puerto Rican Pernil first, but then I’d want to try this Pinapple Pulled Pork Taco recipe for sure!

  28. Adie says

    I just made pulled-pork tacos in the crock pot, but these sound like the inspirational flavor I was looking for! Next time, I’m trying this. And I’ve been wanting a dutch oven for years!!! I would love to win.
    I already LIKE Le Creuset on FB, and now I LIKE you too.

    Thanks for the great recipe and entertaining, well-written post.

  29. Christopher Sorel says

    the first thing I would make is Julia Child Beef Bourguignon recipe as never turns out right in the pot I have

  30. Danielle says

    I love me some Le Creuset, I don’t have any yet, but am determined to get some! I would make a chicken hominy verde. Crossing my fingers!

  31. Katy M says

    Yummy! We love a good goulash around here so it would definitely be my first meal in that beautiful dutch oven! I like you both on FB as Katy M. Thanks for the great giveaway and recipe!!! :)

  32. Elisa B. says

    Thanks for the great giveaway! I have been dying for a Le Creuset for ages and would love to win one. I like to make ratatouille but wish I had a French or Dutch oven so I can start it on the stove top and move it to the oven. This pulled pork recipe sounds amazing too.

    rainwolf87@hotmail.com

  33. Ellie Bromilow says

    I would make my famous grandmothers Goulash (secret receipe) and while the oven was on would also pop in another dish some jerusalem artichokes and some roast garlic… yum…

  34. says

    I would make…Oh man. The possibilities are truly endless. I am not an overly materialistic person, I don’t have a lot of wants, but a Le Creuset collection taunts me.

    I would make coq au vine with one of our own chickens, to christen this. I like you guys and Le Creuset on Facebook.

  35. JeanieK says

    I would make sweet & spicy pineapple pork tacos, of course! And boeuf bourguignon, coq a vin, spaghetti bolognese, pot roast, and bread!!

  36. Chris Howe says

    I’d like to try the no-knead bread recipe.
    I already like Le Creuset and Feast on the Cheap on FB.

  37. Steve Stringer says

    We would LOVE to win the French Oven! I think the first thing we’d make is the pulled pork, that recipe looks amazing. I definitely would love to try some lamb slowly cooked in the French Oven! I just drooled a little on my keyboard. :)

    Thanks for the recipe!

    ceebreeze@charter.net

  38. says

    Oh my goodness! This post makes me smile! I <3 le creuset. No knead bread??? Helloooo???? Perfection for all sorts of dishes. Great post and grats on the awesome oven, whomever gets it. Good luck everyone!

  39. Valerie E Hess says

    I would make the Italian fish stew recipe I discovered and serve it to several friends. I would also make chili and chicken with couscous or chicken with dumplings. I would use it to make rice the was Lynn Rosetto Kasper talks about on “Splendid Table.” I might roast a chicken with vegetables or even try bread in it. I suspect it would be in the dish drainer A LOT if I won this pan.

    I have been a Le Creuset user for over 30 years. It is a GREAT product with a lifetime warranty. And no, I don’t work for them. I’m just a kitchen gadget nut and LOVE good pans.

  40. says

    Have signed up for your newsletter, using this email addy :) *Fingers crossed!* Thanks for this opportunity & the recipe! Looks like we’re all winners no matter what!

  41. Valerie E Hess says

    P.S. I was already a Fb follower of Le Creuset but now I also follow you on Fb. (I don’t Twitter.)

  42. KAREN says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE le Creuset! I have a couple of pieces but am really needing a large roaster. One of my favorite recipes for this size pot is Chicken and 40 cloves. Yum!

    I want a Le Creuset collection of all different colors! I have a small red roaster and a cobalt blue skillet.

    I already “like” Le Creuset on Facebook and now that I have found your fun website, I’ll go like you!

    Thank you for having such a great give away and the inspiring recipe that I must try!

  43. says

    It’s a lovely shade:) The weather in California is getting warmer, but I need to braise some lamb shanks before it turns to real summer. I have been following Le Creuset on Twitter for a while now.

    I am following you, as @Bibberche

  44. Kathy in Greendale says

    I made sure to like your Facebook page.

    I already like Le Crueset on Facebook.

    And….I’m fairly certain I’d try these pulled pork tacos! Yum!

  45. JeanieK says

    Oh, and I started following you guys on Twitter, tweeted (@jmk123), joined your newsletter, and liked Feast on the Cheap on Facebook! I already liked Le Creuset! :)

  46. Amanda says

    I like Le Crueset and Feast on the Cheap on Facebook. I would use this for many dishes, especially a favourite recipe for roasted vegetables with rosemary that is always a big hit on holidays.

  47. Margaret Anne Morris says

    I have dreamed of having a LeCrueset French oven and that green is the most gorgeous color! I can see it brimming with Chicken Chili Verde and Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings from Pamela Anderson’s new cook book. I have tweeted your givaway and I have liked you on Facebook and Liked Le Crueset as well. Do I get extra brownie points for that? LOL!

  48. Jill says

    I would make my first cassoulet! It is something I have always wanted to attempt and it would look perfect coming out of the oven in my new dish!

  49. Rebecca Cook says

    I’m a beanaholic, so I’m sure the first dish I’d prepare in my new Dutch oven would be something along the lines of Frijoles Borrachos (Drunken Beans). To be most excellent, the dish must slow simmer at an even temperature for quite a long time. Perfect!

  50. Emily says

    Hi All!

    I would love to make French chicken in a pot, in that BEAUTIFUL French oven! (Sense a theme here?! :D) Along with about a million other things, I can practically smell the onions caramelizing!

  51. ChristaLaree says

    I would make Beef Burgundy. Would be great to brown the beef and slow cook in the oven, all in one pot.

  52. monica kramer says

    So many things can be made in this baby! But it would be great for my shredded chicken, veggie and brown rice soup! Liking both pages…

  53. Sharon says

    Just discovered you– and I am happy! That dish looks so fantastic I know what I am cooking on Sunday! I recently bought my first Le Creuset after drooling over them for years (and burning soup and pilafs and everything else). They make everything better- they really do. And of course they are beautiful on the table, perfect for make-your-own-pork-taco night!!

  54. Karen Farmer says

    Oh my goodness! What couldn’t I make in this! Fabulous size! I’m thinking some braised pork with cranberries & onions ~ I can’t wait to explore this website! Thanks so much and I have my fingers crossed for a lovely new piece of Le Creuset!

  55. Andrea says

    I would make Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Pork Tacos AGAIN (yes, this is the first recipe I tried and loved it – I am such a huge fan now!!!) I can’t wait to make the Chipotle-Spiced Pulled Pork and your White Pizza with Sweet Pears and Balsamic-Glazed Figs sounds amazing. Thank you for these delicious ideas!

  56. says

    I love Creuset and would love to own one! My first dish will be making a barbecue beef brisket using Guiness Stout and lots of other yummy flavors.

  57. says

    I “like” both LC and Feast on Facebook, and subscribed to the newsletter! Fingers crossed!

    I will make a fabulous Middle Eastern lamb stew. Yum!!!

  58. Debbie says

    I would absolutely LOVE to have a piece of Le Creuset cookware! I would prepare a flavorful pot of beef stew & serve it over mashed potatoes–YUM!

  59. says

    If I win, I will use this to make stews, soups, chilis, beans, and I may try to do a whole (small) chicken! Le Creuset is the best. “Liked” you and Le Creuset on Facebook, and I have already recommended one of your recipes to a “gluten free” friend!

  60. Gina says

    I would love to cook with a dutch oven, there are so many recipes i could make in it
    I like you both on facebook (Gina R)

  61. Jeanne in Toledo says

    I follow both feastonthecheap and le creuset on FB. I would definitely use a Le Creuset oven to make dishes like my 40 cloves of garlic chicken, or a brisket…anything low and slow…they do it so well!!

  62. Stephanie B says

    This pork taco recipe looks amazing, I would try it first. Even my husband says it looks good :-) Everyone keeps talking about chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, so I guess I better look that one up, too. The Fennel color is amazing – I love green!

  63. Jessica N. says

    I would prob make Elk Chili, our deep freeze is so full of Elk meat from this past season, I need to get rid of some of it … fast!!!

  64. Donald H says

    I have followed both Feast on the Cheep and Le Crueset on Facebook! And….as for what I would make in that amazing 5.5 qt French Oven… Lamb Shanks braised in Red Wine with baby carrots and parsnip!

  65. Donald H says

    And…now I have done steps 4, 5, 6! My wife turned me onto this site just yesterday and I look forward to reading, exploring, and learning all I can. Thanks!! DH.

  66. Linda Muhlbauer says

    I already like LeCreuset but am happy to add feast on the cheap, and I would make chili – venison chili if I had my way – but I LOVE Fennel and think it is the new flame! How exciting!

  67. Tammy says

    I love ” Le Creuset” and “Feast on the Cheap.” If I were to win the Le Creuset French Oven, I would make my husband’s family recipe of “Pork and Apple Saurkraut.”…. just to start….

  68. Elsa RG says

    Thanks for the great giveaway!!! =)
    I would try making the pork tacos, they look and sound awesome, the family would really like them!!

  69. Aura says

    I love the colors of le creuset and have heard that they’re amazing but I have yet to own any. Please enter me!

  70. Sabrina says

    BEAUTIFUL! I’d fix everything in it from Julia Child’s favs to New Orleans favs to Oklahoma’s best.Yes, I really would.

  71. Mary Smith says

    I would like to win this to give to my daughter. Le Creuset is the best. Just found your website-it’s pretty great too!

  72. TERESA says

    If I won I would make Dee Dee’s Home Run Chicken-Pollo Guisado Recipe (featured on Paula’s Best Dishes). I tried it in a regular pan and it came out good but I think it would have been even better in LE CREUSET cookware. This recipe is amazing and her secret seasoning really made a big difference. Everyone should try it.

  73. Melissa K says

    I don’t know what I would make if I won this Le Creuset piece, but I’m sure I’d use it all the time. Best. Cookware. Ever.

  74. Erika says

    I have been craving tacos al pastor for the last 3 or 4 nights and been trying to find a good recipe online to try my hand at them as a first timer…I’m now sold and will be making them as soon as the chill in the air departs. I promise to keep you updated! Thanks!!!!!

  75. Luke W says

    Hey! Liked Le Creuset and Feast on the Cheap on Facebook! If I won the dutch oven, the first thing I’d make would be bread–probably a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. Thanks!

  76. Luke W says

    Subscribed to the newsletter! (And realized that my first two comments had a typo in the email address. Sigh.)

  77. gdsm says

    Both pages liked on FB. And I would make my mom’s boeuf bourguignon. She always uses her orange Le Creuset French Oven for that & it always turns out delicious.

  78. Catherine Durstewitz says

    Of course I will like Le Creuset and Feast on the Cheap!! I’d love to make a Cuban style slow cooked pork with carmelized onions in the Le Creuset french oven. Sounds like a delightful party in my mouth! I can see how the Le Creuset french oven is super versatile for all types of international flavors and cooking- yum!!

  79. shalane says

    I’ve wanted one of these for so long! If i won it, i made use it all the time but i would really love to make my moms beef stew recipe! It’s delicious and i have the recipe but nothing to make it in :( I like Le Creuset and Feast on the Cheap on Facebook :)
    shalane.pruno@mnsu.edu

  80. says

    I would love to win a dutch oven! been drooling over them for a while now but really can’t afford one! I don’t have a specific recipe in mind of what i’d make, but your pork tacos look like a great place to start!

  81. sadie earl says

    did all three…and i would love to use a le creuset dutch oven to slow roast some pork for those killer tacos. actually i would probably just carry it around all day because it would be my new baby.

  82. says

    This is exactly the recipe I was looking for… I have tried tacos el pastor in a small mexican restaurant, and have been wanting to serve them to my family since then… The ones I have eaten were served with fresh pineapple chunks, so i think I’ll buy a fresh pineapple instead of canned chunks / mango… Thank you for this wonderful recipe :)

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