Hello! Welcome to Djalali Cooks. Tacos are at the top of my favorites list, alongside pizza. I love to turn leftovers into tacos, too. Today I am using some leftover pork shoulder, and you can use leftover chicken, if you like. Or maybe you’ll make your favorite protein especially for these tacos! Whatever the case may be, the fried cheese layer and the chipotle pineapple salsa make these tacos special and truly delicious. Let’s get right to it: Pork Tacos with Chipotle Pineapple Salsa!
Chipotle Pineapple Salsa
This salsa is slightly sweet from the fresh pineapple; the pineapple flavor is amplified by the adobo sauce that coats the chipotles. Diced red onion has a crunchy, fresh bite. And cilantro, for a bit of green and Mexican flavor. We will give a little extra acid with the juice of one lime. Finely dice everything and toss it in a bowl with the lime juice. Set the bowl aside and let the flavors meld.
This salsa is super-simple and you can add anything extra you like. Avocado would be great; instead of pineapple, you could do mango.
On to the pork! Get a cast iron, or heavy bottom pan very hot over high heat. Drizzle a little oil in the pan and reduce the heat to medium, add the pork, chicken or other protein. We want to warm the pork through (if you’re using leftovers), but more importantly, we want to crisp up some of the meat. I have a nice bark on this smoked pork shoulder that really crisps up well.
Don’t heat the meat so much that it is in danger of drying out. The super hot pan will sear the meat initially, then reducing the heat to medium will evenly heat it through. After about 4-5 minutes with occasional stirring, transfer the meat to a serving dish. If you’re making more than a few tacos, you can set the meat in a warm oven to keep it hot.
Now for the fun part. Over medium heat, in the same skillet you used to crisp up the meat, we will do two tacos at a time: place two small handfuls of shredded cheese right in the skillet.
When the cheese is melted, bubbly and getting brown and crispy on the edges, place one corn tortilla on top of each portion of cheese. Then using a thin spatula, flip the tortillas to slightly toast the other side.
Repeat with as many tortillas as you’re planning to serve.
Cheese side up, fill the cheesy tortillas with meat and top with the pineapple salsa.
The crispy cheese really makes these tacos! The exterior of the tortilla is lightly toasted, yet still soft and pliable. The pineapple salsa adds a bright, tangy, fresh flavor and the chipotles in adobo are so savory and rich. The meat is still tender and juicy, with crispy edges that gives these little tacos great texture. Top with your favorite hot sauce to turn up the heat a little, if you like.
Whether you are starting with leftovers or not, these tacos will be a hit any night of the week! I hope you give them a try, and the Pineapple Chipotle Salsa is great to have on hand for topping tacos, dipping chips, or even adding to a salad. For another great taco recipe, check out Tacos Dorados. Remember you can find me on Instagram and facebook, reach out and say hello! Take care and be well everyone! xo Kelly
Pork Tacos with Chipotle Pineapple Salsa
Tender pork is crisped up and layered on crispy cheese on a corn tortilla with tangy, sweet, smoky chipotle pineapple salsa.
- Chipotle Pineapple Salsa
- 1 small Pineapple, cored and diced
- 3-4 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
- 1/2 Red Onion, diced
- 1/2 bunch of Cilantro, finely chopped
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 3 to 4 cups Pork Shoulder, shredded
- Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend (about 1/4 cup per taco)
- Corn Tortillas
Chipotle Pineapple Salsa
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, set aside.
Get a cast iron, or heavy bottom pan very hot over high heat. Drizzle a little oil in the pan and reduce the heat to medium, add the pork.
Stirring once or twice, heat the pork through, letting some of it get crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a serving dish and keep in a warm oven.
Return the same pan to medium heat and, doing two tacos at a time, add 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese for each taco directly to the pan. Make two small piles of cheese in the pan.
When the cheese is melted, bubbly and browning on the edges, lay one tortilla on each portion of melted cheese. Using a spatula, flip the tortillas to lightly toast the other side.
Repeat with as many tacos as you plan to serve.
With the tortillas cheese side up, pile on the pork, then the chipotle pineapple salsa.