I came across this traditional northern Mexico dish in one of my Paleo-inspired cookbooks, Paleo By Season by Peter Servold. It was so delicious that I immediately wrote down my modified version. I’m pretty sure my family kept saying that it was just so good, but it was hard to tell since they were talking between bites of food.
The key to this dish is to let the meat marinate overnight, and to use a hot, dry pan to cook it. Do not add oil to the pan because the browning of the pork is what makes this truly amazing. The pork is the star, and it really shines with this combination of flavors.
Because we strive to follow a Paleo diet, I serve this with lettuce cups instead of the traditional corn tortilla. I also add fresh chopped toppings including white onion, cilantro and lime wedges. I’m sure this pork pastor would be equally delicious on a salad or over seasoned vegetables.
The meat only cooks for 12-15 minutes so do the garnish prep-work early. You only want to stir the meat a few times while it cooks to ensure even browning. Serve right away and enjoy it while it lasts. This recipe should serve four people, but my family of three licked the plate clean.
1 jalapeno pepper, cut in half and seeded
1 cup pineapple, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Butter lettuce cups
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Combine all the ingredients from the first list in a bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and let the mixture marinate for 10 to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
When ready to cook, remove the pork mixture and set it aside for about 15 minutes to help bring it closer to room temperature. Heat a large, dry saute pan over medium-high heat. Add all of the marinated pork mixture and evenly cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. However, don’t over stir in order to brown the meat perfectly. Serve immediately with lettuce cups and garnishes.