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Pork Confit Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN

"At taquerias all over Mexico and Latin America, I devour bundles of braised and griddled small intestines," says Andrew Zimmern. "To replicate the fattiness and crisp elegance, I confit pork shoulder with salt, sugar, garlic and herbs, then grill the meat and serve with warm tortillas and smoky pineapple salsa."

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  1. 1/4 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  2. 3 tablespoons sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons juniper berries, crushed
  4. 1 tablespoon coarsely ground white pepper
  5. 10 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 8 thyme sprigs
  7. 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  8. 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  9. 2 cups vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  10. 12 ounces sliced fresh pineapple ( 1/2 inch thick)
  11. 1 yellow onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  12. 4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  13. 3 tablespoons chopped mint
  14. 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  15. 2 canned chipotle chiles, chopped
  16. Juice of 1 lime
  17. Warm corn tortillas, for serving
  1. In a bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of salt with the sugar, juniper, white pepper, garlic, thyme and half of the cilantro. Add the pork and toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 16 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300°. Scrape the seasonings off of the pork and transfer the meat to a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Pour the oil over the meat and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Cover and bake for about 2 1/2 hours, until the pork is very tender.
  3. Light a grill. Brush the pineapple, yellow onion and tomatoes with oil and grill over moderately high heat until charred, 2 minutes per side. Cut into 1/2-inch dice; transfer to a bowl. Stir in the mint, red onion, chipotles, lime juice and the remaining cilantro; season with salt.
  4. Lift the pork pieces from the oil. Grill over moderately high heat until charred all over. Transfer to a plate and shred the pork. Serve the pork with the salsa and tortillas.