Fusing other cuisines with Jamaican cuisine is one of my favorite things to do. Our flavors and ingredients are bold and exotic. The marriage of our spices and methods of cooking just works when fused with other cuisines like Italian and Mexican. This treat is a Mexican and Jamaican fusion where jerk pork meats tacos in a sweet and spicy combination. The heat from the pork is cooled by the flavorful crema and pineapples and fresh cilantro were made for each other. (If you don’t believe me add a few pieces of pineapples to your guacamole the next time you have it.)
Though jerk pork is usually grilled, I cooked it in the oven for this recipe. This is a set it and forget recipe because you want the pork to be as tender as possible. Once the pork has cooked, blend the sauce and assemble the tacos. The hardest part of this recipe is willing yourself to stop eating these tacos once they are cooked and assembled.
For this recipe you will need:
- Medium bowl
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Baking pan
- 2 disposable gloves
- Aluminum Foil
- 2.5- 3lbs pork (A cut of pork with some fat and center bone)
- 3 scallions (rough chopped)
- 6 sprigs of thyme (rough chopped)
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- 6 pimento seeds
- 1 ½ medium onion (rough chopped)
- 5 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 1 tbsp all purpose seasoning
- 1 tsp @walkerswood jerk seasoning
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 slices fresh or canned pineapple
- 8 corn tortillas
- 3 tomatillos
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- Handful of fresh cilantro
- ½ an avocado
- Juice from one lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ an onion (diced finely)
- Handful of fresh cilantro (rough chopped)
- Rinse and pat dry pork in a large bowl.
- Rough chop scallion, thyme, scotch bonnet, 3 cloves of garlic, pimento seeds and 1 onion to blender. Add oil to the blender and blend for about 30 seconds until the seasonings are chopped.
- Use a spoon to scrape mixture from the blender onto the pork.
- To the pork and seasoning blend, add all purpose, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Cover hands with gloves and massage the seasonings into the meat.
- Marinate the meat for at least 30 minutes -- the longer the better.
- Once the meat is marinated, use tongs to transfer it to a baking pan. Tent pork with foil paper and cook tented in a 350 degree oven until fork tender, for about 1 hour.
- Remove tenting and finish under the broiler for 5 mins until the pieces brown and caramelizes.
- Cut pork into small bite size pieces and set aside.
- Grill pineapple slices in a grill pan with no added oil.
- Cut pineapple slices into small pieces, about the same as the pork. Discard the core of the slices.
- In a blender add 1/2 an onion, jalapeño, cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic, avocado, tomatillos lime juice, a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend for about 1 minute until all of the ingredients are smooth.
- Pour into a small serving bowl and set aside.
- In a hot pan slightly char the tortillas. Do not use oil when charring tortillas.
- Once the tortillas are charred on both sides, remove them from the heat.
- Top each tortilla with pork, pineapples, crema, chopped onions and cilantro. Serve and open faced or rolled.