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Kid-Friendly Tacos al Pastor with Pineapple



Kids usually like the sweet addition of pineapple to the taco filling.

Jo Eike

 

Here’s an easy and delicious meal to feed the kids on a busy week night. The flavors in this riff on the classic grilled al pastor are assertive but not spicy, and kids love the bright sweetness the juicy pineapple brings. Even better for busy parents, after just a little prep work, this recipe is completely hands-off. Once it’s time to eat, set out the shredded pork with warmed tortillas and your choice of toppings and let your kids make their own tacos. 

Serves 8

 

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

3lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1.5”-2” chunks

1 pineapple

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped into eighths

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

1 cup chicken stock

4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

¼ cup of fresh cilantro leaves

 

Corn tortillas for serving

 

Optional toppings:

Diced avocado

Shredded lettuce

Pickled jalapeños

Black beans

Shredded cheese

Cook's assistant finds additional uses for pineapple.
Cook's assistant finds other uses for pineapple.

 

Heat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, mix together the salt, cumin, oregano, chili powder and garlic powder. Add pork and mix well to coat.

 

Chop the top and tail end of the pineapple, then cut the peel off in wide strips and reserve. Core the pineapple and chop into 1” cubes.  

 

Place a large, heavy pot with a lid over medium heat and add the oil. When oil is hot, add the seasoned pork and brown on all sides, around 8 minutes total. Add half of the diced pineapple, then nestle the onion pieces and smashed garlic cloves on top. Place the reserved strips of pineapple peel cut side down in a layer over the top of the mixture. Add the chicken stock and vinegar, bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to oven. Cook until meat is cooked through and falling apart, around 2 hours.

 

(Alternative method - you can also use a slow cooker:  repeat above steps and cook on high for around 5 hours until meat is cooked through and falling apart.)

 

Discard the pineapple peel and any remaining large chunks of onion. Shred the pork with two forks and pour off all but ¼ cup of the braising liquid. Transfer to a large platter and scatter the remaining cubes of pineapple and the cilantro on top. Serve with warmed tortillas and toppings of your choice.

 

More family-friendly  ideas:

If you’re just looking for a less meat-focused option, our three bean chili is hearty, delicious, and just as kid-friendly: Three- Bean Chili 

Try these in the lunch boxes  - Sausage Rolls and Cheese Puffs

 

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