Crew’s Mess: Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Oct 20, 2019 by Capt. John Wampler

Crew's Mess: by Capt. John Wampler

Mexico is one of my favorite countries to cruise through. There is a distinction between the Caribbean and Pacific sides of the country – the music, the proud indigenous people and the food differ. I prefer the Pacific over the Caribbean when it comes to food, though the Mayan cuisine of the Yucatan holds its own mystique.

One of my favorite comfort foods, no matter which coast, is Tacos al Pastor. On most street corners you will find a taco shop with a vertical spit (think gyro) called a “trompo,” on which marinated pork is spun around and cooked in front of an open flame. At the top of the spit there is usually peeled pineapple cooking. 

A “taquero” slices the cooked pork onto a corn tortilla, followed by a piece of the pineapple, finely chopped onion and cilantro. It is served with salsa rojo (red) or verde (green).

This simple recipe mimics these tasty tacos – no trompo needed. 


  • 9 ounces fresh peeled and cored pineapple
  • 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chili
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 8 corn taco shells or small tortillas


  • Cut 6 ounces of the pineapple into 1/4-inch pieces and coarsely chop the remaining pineapple. 
  • Finely chop the onion and mince a 1/4 cup of cilantro. 
  • To make the salsa, mix the small pineapple pieces, half of the chopped onion and cilantro in a bowl.
  • In a food processor, puree the canned tomato with chili and large pineapple chunks until smooth, like a pesto. 
  • In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground pork and remaining onion until pork is no longer pink. 
  • Stir in the tomato mix and simmer until thickened. Pepper and salt to taste. 
  • Serve on warm taco shells or tortillas and garnish with pineapple chunks, lime wedge and cilantro. 


Capt. John Wampler ( has worked on yachts for more than 30 years. His recipes are casual enough for anyone to prepare. Comments are welcome below.