We’re going on a family vacation to a tropical beach very soon — so naturally, I have pineapple on my mind. (And I’m beyond excited about the vacation!)
When I’ve been cooking lately, I’ve found myself thinking of how to add tropical twists to my recipes.
While the sweet, juicy pineapple combines perfectly with the grilled, succulent pork, this recipe could also easily be made with fish — which frankly, would make more sense at a tropical beach. 😉
- Grape seed oil for the pan
- 1⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili paste see notes
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Tamari preferably low-sodium
- 4 approximately 8-ounce pork chops, bone-in, about 1-inch thick
- 8 round slices of fresh pineapple (Here's a Photographic Guide to How to Peel and Cut a Pineapple.)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A few sprigs of cilantro for garnish
Coat the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan with the oil.
Place the pan over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and caramelized, stirring every so often -- 10 to 15 minutes.
Mix in the chili paste, stir to combine, and then deglaze the pan with the pineapple juice.
Add the Tamari and bring to a boil. Then, immediately reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the sauce thickens a bit, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat a stove-top grill or outdoor BBQ.
Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper, and season both sides of the pineapple slices with pepper only.
Drizzle both the pork chops and the pineapple slices with grape seed oil, being sure both sides are well coated.
Once the grill is very hot, add the pork chops and pineapple slices. You should hear a sizzling sound when they hit the pan -- if you don't, wait! The grill needs to be very hot for everything to caramelize and char properly.
Turn the pork chops over when the bottom well marked from the grill and is golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Now turn them over and sauté for another couple minutes, then turn the heat to low, cover loosely with foil, and let them finish cooking just until the pork is cooked through, about 8 minutes. The pineapple slices should grill for about 3 minutes per side. Remove them from the grill when they're done, while you continue to cook the pork.
On a large serving platter, or on individual serving plates, place each pork chop on top of 2 of the grilled pineapple slices.
Drizzle the pineapple-onion sauce over the pork chops, and spoon a bit beneath them, too. (For a more elegant presentation, you can slice the pork off the bone and fan it out over the pineapple.)
Garnish with cilantro and serve!