Adobo is a Spanish word for “sauce” or “marinade.” This version—a chile marinade containing a blend of ancho, pasilla negro, and guajillo chiles, as well as onion, garlic, fresh pineapple, vinegar, and lime juice—is traditionally paired with Tacos al Pastor (pork), but is also excellent with grilled or smoked chicken or beef.
What to buy: Chile negro (also called a pasilla chile or pasilla negro) is the dried version of the chilaca chile. It can be purchased at most Mexican grocers or online. Note that ancho chiles are often mislabeled as pasillas. If you cannot find chile negro, you can use ancho chiles or mulato chiles instead.
Mexican oregano (a relative of lemon verbena) can be found in Latin markets or the Latin section of your supermarket.
Game plan: If you can, prepare the marinade the day before. Coat the meat in it and refrigerate overnight. If you are pinched for time, you can marinate the meat for less time, but no less than 4 hours.