Pork loin fajitas with pineapple and corn salsa and guacamole

Hands-on feasting: Pork fajitas with pineapple and corn salsa, guacamole and sour cream.
Hands-on feasting: Pork fajitas with pineapple and corn salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Gluten-free

The corn and pineapple salsa, with its sweet, sour and hot punch of flavour, elevates this Tex-Mex classic like nothing else. After all, fajitas are simply grilled strips of meat accompanied by peppers and onion and served in tortillas. There are quite a few ingredients here, but there's nothing tricky about the preparation and it makes a great spread for a Saturday night dinner (or even a midweek one if you're feeling organised, as the spice mix can be made ahead of time).

Ingredients

½ white salad onion, finely sliced into half moons

3 sweet banana peppers, sliced into rings

800g pork loin, sliced into strips 1cm thick, at room temperature

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

½ bunch of coriander, leaves and fine stems picked

16 small soft tortillas (use corn tortillas for gluten-free)

250ml sour cream

your favourite hot sauce, to serve

For the spice mix

2 tsp soft brown sugar

2 tsp ground fennel

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican, if you can get it)

2 tsp sweet paprika

1½ tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika

For the grilled corn and pineapple salsa

2 corn cobs

½ under-ripe pineapple, peeled and core removed, cut into wedges lengthways

extra virgin olive oil

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

1 white onion, finely diced

2 long green chillies, finely diced

½ bunch of coriander, leaves and stems finely chopped

For the salsa dressing

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1½ tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tsp fish sauce (check gluten-free if required)

¼ tsp ground black pepper

For the guacamole

5 makrut lime leaves

1 tsp salt flakes

2 tbsp lime juice

2 large ripe avocados, roughly diced

1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp green Tabasco

Method

1. Preheat a barbecue on high.

2. For the salsa, grill the corn cobs on all sides until scorched and tender (about 5-7 minutes), then slice the kernels off the cobs and add to a medium bowl.

3. Meanwhile, lightly oil the pineapple, season with salt and pepper and grill on all sides to scorch (about 2 minutes a side). Cut the pineapple into 1cm dice and add to the corn bowl.

4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then add to the corn bowl with the onion, chilli and coriander. Toss through and let stand for 5-10 minutes before using (this is best used on the day).

5. To make the guacamole, cut the veins out of the lime leaves, then slice very finely. Add to a mortar with the salt and grind to a fine powder. Stir in the lime juice, then scrape into a large bowl. Add the avocado, oil and Tabasco and stir vigorously. Transfer to a serving bowl.

6. If your barbecue has a flat plate, heat it on high. Alternatively, place a large frypan over high heat for several minutes. While it's heating, combine the spices for the spice mix in a bowl.

7. Add a splash of oil to the grill or pan and cook the onion and banana peppers for about 3 minutes, then lightly oil the pork and add so it maintains good contact with the cooking surface. Season with salt and cook for about 4 minutes undisturbed, then stir, sprinkle over the spice mix, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Plate the mix, splash over the vinegar and sprinkle the coriander on top. 

8. To serve, wrap the tortillas in foil and heat in a moderate oven. Serve with the pork, guacamole, salsa, sour cream and hot sauce.