Recipe

grilled pork and pineapple skewers with achiote sauce

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Ingredients: 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon achiote (annatto) seeds
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon seeded and finely chopped jarred aji amarillo peppers or fresh habanero
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt,
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 pound pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large red onion, quartered, halved, and cut crosswise
1 head butter lettuce, such as Bibb or Boston
Lime wedges, for serving

Serves: 

4

Instructions: 

Put wooden skewers in a pan of water for 30 minutes, so they don’t burn on the grill.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the achiote seeds. Turn off the heat and let the seeds steep until the oil turns a vibrant orange-red, about 5 minutes. Strain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a blender: discard the seeds. Add the vinegar, garlic, aji amarillo, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cover the blender and puree until well combined.

Place the pork in a resealable gallon-sized plastic bag. Add the achiote marinade, turn the bag to coat the pork, squeeze out the air, and seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Remove the pork from the marinade; discard the marinade. Thread the pork onto the skewers alternating with the pineapple and red onion. Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium- high (you may also preheat the oven broiler.)Grill (or broil) the pork skewers until they are browned on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes total cooking time. Take care not to overcook or the pork will become tough and dry. Serve the pork skewers on a bed of lettuce leaves and garnish with lime wedges. Pull the pork skewers to a lettuce leaf and eat like a taco. For a great presentation, stick the skewers into a whole pineapple and put on the table with the lettuce and lime on the side.