The Peppered Pineapple Al Pastor Burger
I live in Austin, TX and “Tacos Al Pastor” is a common choice on tex-mex menus around here. I love the combo of the delicious pork with chili peppers, pineapple and cilantro. 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
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon guajillo chili powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds ground pork
12 slices bacon
Jalapeno Buttermilk Spread:
1 large jalapeno
1 large clove of garlic
1 Tablespoon buttermilk
¾ teaspoon black pepper
Zest of 1 lime
1 cup mayonnaise
Red Onion and Cilantro Relish:
½ cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
½ cup red onion, finely diced
3 teaspoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pineapple Lime Glaze:
1 Tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup pineapple preserves
2 to 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
1 cored and skinned pineapple
6 sweet onion bakery style hamburger buns
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.
To make the patties, combine the garlic, pineapple preserves, ancho chili powder, oregano, guajillo chili powder, black pepper and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl until well blended. Add the ground pork to the spice paste and combine until 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 fire-proof 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.
Prepare the Jalapeno Buttermilk Spread. Remove the seeds from the jalapeno pepper and place in a small food processor. Pulse the pepper until coarsely chopped and then add the garlic clove, buttermilk, black pepper, lime zest and mayonnaise. Puree the mixture until smooth and then cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge to chill.
To make the Red Onion and Cilantro Relish combine in a small mixing bowl the cilantro, red onion, lime juice, salt and black pepper. Stir well and cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge to chill while burgers are cooking.
For the Pineapple Lime Glaze heat a small heavy fire proof sauce pot over medium high heat. Place the lime juice and pineapple preserves in a small food processor and process until smooth. Add the glaze mixture to the heated sauce pot and cook, stirring frequently for 5-8 minutes until mixture is thickened. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
When the grill is ready brush the grill rack with vegetable oil.
Slice the cored pineapple into 6 slices about ½ inch thick. Place on oiled grill and cook 3-5 minutes per side or until grill marks show and slices are heated through. Remove from grill, cover with foil and set aside.
Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through just until the juices run clear when the patties are pierced in the center. During the last 2 to 3 minutes of grilling, brush patties with Pineapple Lime Glaze.
Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling watching very closely to avoid burning.
To assemble the burgers, spread each side of the toasted bun generously with the Jalapeno Buttermilk Spread. Top with Red Onion and Cilantro Relish, two slices of bacon per burger, a slice of grilled pineapple and a burger patty. Add the bun tops and serve immediately.
Makes 6 burgers