We turn to chicken so often – especially when we’ve got delicious, nutritious recipes that keep us coming back for more – that we often forget how great pork can be. Whether it’s pork chops or pork loin, pork is a versatile meat that takes on flavor like a champ and that can be dressed up any which way you choose. We were taking a look at what we had in the pantry and thought we saw some great potential with what was on hand – Hawaiian pineapple pork loin! If you’ve got your pork and some barbecue sauce and pineapple, then you’re pretty much already in business. We spruced ours up with bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic and red onion, but if you’ve got other stuff in the fridge that you’re looking to use up, this is a dish where just about anything works.
The trick here is to infuse your pork with flavor and make sure to coat it with sauce so that it doesn’t dry out. For the flavor infusion, we like to use the hasselback approach. Just as you might make a series of small, parallel cuts into a potato to then stuff with cheese or bacon before baking it, you can make a series of cuts into your pork and then fill them with pineapple slices.
Pour your doctored up barbecue sauce over the top – which addresses the drying out issue we aim to avoid – and pop it all in the oven. You’ve got a delicious meal (that easily transitions into tasty leftovers if it doesn’t all get devoured) and now a recipe to come back to again and again! Trust us, you’ll love it.
Hawaiian Pork Loin
Serves 6; 1 hour
- 1 1/2 pounds pork loin
- 1 can pineapple rings, juices reserved
- 1 (16 oz.) bottle barbecue sauce
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green onion, garnish
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450º F.
- Place pork loin on a cutting board and make a series of small, parallel incisions along the length of meat.
- Transfer to a large baking dish or baking sheet, then fill each incision with 1/2 pineapple ring.
- Pour barbecue sauce and 1/2 reserved pineapple juice (more or less as desired) into a medium bowl, then stir in red bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic and red onion.
- Pour sauce over pork loin, then place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, then lower heat to 350º and cook for another 35 minutes, or until pork is cooked through. Internal temperature should be between 150-160º F.
- Remove from oven and top with green onion, if using.