Peppered Pineapple Al Pastor Burgers

Accolades 2011 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 burgers
Pairs well with:

Pinot Grigio

You won’t need a bouquet of flowers when you share our Pinot Grigio. This crisp wine with floral aromas is a wonderful way to make an entrance.

I decided to create a burger with all of the fabulous sweet, spicy, and savory flavors of my favorite taco!



  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons pineapple preserves
  • 1 tablespoon guajillo chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 12 slices bacon

Jalapeño Buttermilk Spread

  • 1 large jalapeño chile, seeded
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Red Onion and Cilantro Relish

  • 1/2 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pineapple Lime Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup pineapple preserves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
  • 1 pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 6 sweet onion bakery-style hamburger buns, split


Heat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties, combine the garlic, pineapple preserves, chile powders, oregano, black pepper, and salt in a medium mixing bowl until well blended. Add the pork to the spice paste and combine until the spices are evenly distributed through the meat, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Heat a large, heavy nonstick fireproof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wrap in foil to keep warm and set aside to use later.

To make the spread, place the jalapeño in a small food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped, then add the garlic, buttermilk, pepper, lime zest, and mayonnaise. Puree the mixture until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill.

To make the relish, combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.

To make the glaze, heat a small, heavy fireproof saucepan on the grill. Place the lime juice and pineapple preserves in a small food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to the heated pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Slice the cored pineapple into 6 slices about 1/2 inch thick. Place on the rack and cook until grill marks show and the slices are heated through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove, cover with foil, and set aside.

Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until the juices run clear when the patties are pierced in the center, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. During the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, brush the patties with the glaze. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly, watching very closely to avoid burning.

To assemble the burgers, spread each side of the toasted buns generously with the spread. Top each bun bottom with an equal portion of the relish, 2 bacon slices, a pineapple slice, and a patty. Add the bun tops and serve immediately.