These ground beef tacos are cooked al pastor -style with pineapple juice and fresh pineapple. Grated cheese is folded in at end for a tangy, spicy, cheesy filling. Serve with corn or flour tortillas and all the fixings for an easy weeknight meal!
Do you have a dish you love but just can’t get ever get right when you try to make it at home? I consider myself a pretty competent cook, but every time I’ve tried to make enchiladas, it’s been a disaster.
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The main issue is the tortillas. The corn tortillas I get at my grocery store never seem to be pliable enough to fold around the filling without breaking apart, even when I warm them first!
By the time I get the pan into the oven it’s just pieces of soggy tortilla floating in a puddle of sauce and filling and covered with cheese. Tasty but not exactly picture-perfect.
Next time, I’ll try these tips from Bon Appétit. If you’re an enchilada master, please tell me your secrets, I’m all ears!
Anyway, I gave it another shot a couple of weeks ago with a recipe from the new Half-Baked Harvest book. I wish I could say I finally conquered the enchilada, but nope. Through no fault of the recipe, of course, just my bad enchilada juju!
They were a delicious mess. In fact I loved the filling so much that I decided to adapt it and make it again, but this time I employed the far less problematic vehicle of a taco.
The filling for these ground beef tacos is “al pastor”-style in that the meat is cooked with pineapple, but made with ground beef rather than pork. You could definitely use ground pork (or chicken or turkey for that matter). These tacos are sweet, spicy and tangy.
With lots of grated cheese mixed and melted in there, the filling is super delicious stuffed into a corn or flour tortilla, and topped with some cilantro and some pickled serrano peppers for a nice sweet and spicy combo.
I love Mexican food year-round of course, but I crave it most in the spring. Not just because of Cinqo de Mayo, but because after a long, painful winter, fun festive food served family-style is exactly what feels good to me.
In the case of these ground beef tacos, it doesn’t hurt that they’re easy to make and take no time to whip up, so I can be outside enjoying the day as much as possible.
All I need to complete the meal is a bowl of smoked queso dip and a cold cerveza.
If you’re craving Mexican food as much as we are, here are some more Mexican-inspired and Tex-Mex favorites!
Sound good to you? If you make this recipe, I would love it if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
Or pin for later!
Ground Beef Tacos, al pastor -style
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 chipotle pepper canned in adobo
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1.5 cups fresh pineapple chunks divided
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
- kosher salt to taste
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1.5 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 1.5 cups monterey jack cheese shredded
- 12 small corn or flour tortillas warmed
- chopped red onion
- In a blender or food processor, place the garlic, chili powder, paprika, chipotle pepper, pineapple juice, vinegar and 1/2 cup of the pineapple chunks. Puree until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until the meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
- Bring the heat down to low and add the pineapple sauce, remaining cup of pineapple chunks ( I like to dice these a bit smaller), and jalapeno. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and coats the beef. Taste and season with salt if desired.
- Remove from heat and fold in the shredded cheese and cilantro. Serve with the warmed tortillas and toppings.