It is so rare that Rebecca and I sit down to a big hunk of meat at home. Meat is pricey these days, and getting more expensive each year. We also try hard to be responsible about where our meat comes from and how it’s produced. For weeks on end, sometimes, we become de facto vegetarians. But every once in a while, it is really satisfying to sit down to a nice big piece of meat.
Last week we had a chance to do just that. I found some thick pork chops and a recipe that featured charred pineapple and I was sold. I’m pretty new to grilling fruit, but I find that burnt-sugar taste really satisfying. Miracle of Science, a restaurant in Cambridge, MA, serves a grilled half grapefruit with honey for their weekend brunch. It is, as you might expect, fantastic.
If you google “pineapple grilled pork chops,” over half a million hits appear. So this is nothing new. I didn’t make this up. I do feel strongly though, contrary to what you’ll see in most recipes, good meat needs minimal dressing up. By that I mean strongly flavored or complex marinades, glazes, etc. tend to overpower the flavor of the meat, which is why you bought the meat in the first place. Salt and pepper is usually all you need to accentuate the flavor of a great steak or quality chop. I actually used a smoked sea salt, which complemented the sweet pineapple nicely.
For these, I went with a simple marinade of pineapple juice. You can use the juice from the can of pineapple rings that you will be purchasing anyway. Let it marinate for at least an hour, or overnight if you can. You don’t need soy sauce or even more sugar in this marinade, as many recipes will suggest.
We enjoyed our chops with some fresh green beans, but you may want grilled asparagus (not in season yet) and/or potato accompaniment. The garnish is some sorrel from our garden, which has some wacky colors at this time of year.