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Oven Spit Pork al Pastor

This show-stopper of a dish will have everyone impressed: from the giant stack of tender pork chops perched atop a pineapple platform, to the juicy strips of flavorful meat carved off the stack. Warm tortillas and a spicy-sweet pineapple salsa round out this epic meal.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 15 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon tomato paste 

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small yellow onion, diced 

1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

Kosher salt

3 pounds thin-cut boneless pork chops 

1 large pineapple

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 

1 small red onion, diced

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 habanero pepper, seeded and finely diced 

Warm tortillas, for serving

Directions

Special equipment:
a long wooden skewer
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the ancho chiles. Toast, turning halfway through, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the orange juice, honey, tomato paste, garlic, yellow onion, chipotle, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the peppers and onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Cool completely.
  2. Combine the cooled marinade with the pork chops in a large resealable bag and massage to coat the meat. Marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  4. Cut off the top of the pineapple and reserve. Cut the remaining pineapple in half crosswise. Peel both halves with a knife. Slice three 1/8-inch-thick rounds from the top half of the pineapple and set the rest aside. Place the bottom half of the pineapple in a medium cast-iron skillet and insert a long wooden skewer pointed tip up into the core of the pineapple. Thread one-quarter of the pork chops on the skewer, then slide on 1 cube of butter. Repeat with the remaining pork chops and butter, ending with the meat on top. Top with the 3 pineapple rounds and press the meat down firmly to compress the layers. 
  5. Carefully transfer to the oven and cook until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat stack registers 160 degrees F, about 1 hour 30 minutes. 
  6. Meanwhile, core and dice the remaining pineapple. Combine with the cilantro, red onion, lime juice, habanero and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. 
  7. Transfer the stack of pork and pineapple to a cutting board and thread the reserved pineapple top on the skewer. Holding the pineapple top to stabilize the stack, use a sharp carving knife or electric knife to shave off thin pieces of meat. Serve with the tortillas and pineapple salsa. 

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