Monday kind of screams for some type of easy, no-frills meal that may or may not save your life this week, don’t you think? These sweet and spicy pork and pineapple tacos may just be the thing you need to remember that Wednesday nights really aren’t all that bad (for some reason, Wednesday nights are my least favorite night in the history of ever; I pretty much have a midweek life crisis each time they roll around).
I’ve made these pork tacos at least three or four times in the last couple of months and while they may appear a bit plain and simple at first sight, the warm and sweet flavors infused in the pineapple and pork mixture are totally amazing. Of course, you could drop pounds of additional toppings onto the ready-to-eat tacos but I can honestly say, we prefer these babies just the way they are. A little tender pork, bites of juicy pineapple, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a tasty tortilla.
Can we talk tortillas for a minute? I used to be anti-corn tortillas but I’ve adjusted my narrow mindedness over the years (it shifted when a dear friend in Minnesota’s mother visiting from Mexico made homemade corn tortillas and I think I ate 84; they may be the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life). I don’t make homemade tortillas every time the occasion calls but I do recommend shopping for a brand you really love. It will make or break the dinner you just slaved over. Now that I have access to a few more options, I love the corn + wheat small tortillas from Trader Joe’s. I stock up every time I go and keep them in my freezer. They’re my favorite storebought tortillas of all time.
As for flour tortillas, I usually end up with the Mission brand (or something similar from the grocery store) or often I buy the uncooked tortillas from Costco that sizzle up in minutes on the griddle. If I can swing it, homemade flour tortillas are incredible with these tacos (they can also be made ahead of time and frozen). Actually, homemade tortillas are just incredible in general.
And just between you and me, this delicious pork and pineapple taco filling is also pretty darn amazing eaten without any tortilla at all. I’m guilty of snitching piece after piece out of the skillet before dinner when no one’s looking (those tasty morsels are totally worth getting busted by the 7-year old who was hiding under the kitchen table).
You have a few options for pineapple here. I've made this recipe using a 20 ounce can of pineapple chunks - draining the juice and reserving 1/4 cup for the recipe and using the pineapple in the tacos. I've also used fresh pineapple and opened one of those small 6-ounce cans of pineapple juice to use in the recipe (using 1/4 cup and reserving the rest to use in a future smoothie or something like that).
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (more to taste, if wanted)
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 2-3 cups diced pineapple (see note above)
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Corn or flour tortillas for serving
- Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the pork pieces and add them to the hot skillet, browning on each side until golden (the pork doesn't need to cook all the way through in this step, just get a nice color on all the pieces).
- Stir in the garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the juice and pineapple and simmer the mixture until the pork is cooked through, 7-9 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro. Serve with corn or flour tortillas.