Cuban Pork with Pineapple

Spice up porkchops with island flavor

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Porkchop

Thomas J. Story

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While the pork, pineapple, and onion for this dish marinate, cook rice and heat canned black beans to serve alongside. (Or, for more intense flavor, marinate the pork the night before.) Serve with coleslaw dressed with a white wine vinaigrette spiked with cumin seeds, chopped fresh cilantro, and minced garlic.

Prep and cook time: About 35 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

1/3 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon hot chile flakes

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

4 pork loin rib chops (3/4 in. thick, 6 to 8 oz. each)

12 ounces peeled and cored pineapple

1 red onion (8 oz.)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

Lime wedges

1. In a 1-cup glass measure, whisk pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, ginger, allspice, chile flakes, and dry mustard to blend. Trim fat on pork chops to 1/4 inch; rinse pork and pat dry. Place chops in a 1-gallon zip-lock plastic bag and add all but 1/4 cup juice mixture. Seal bag and turn to coat. Let stand, turning bag occasionally, at least 20 minutes, or chill up to 1 day (see notes).

2. Meanwhile, cut pineapple into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Peel onion and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, discarding ends. Place both in a rimmed dish and drizzle evenly with remaining juice mixture. Let stand about 20 minutes, turning slices once.

3. Lay chops (discard marinade), pineapple, and onion on an oiled grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until pineapple and onion are browned, 5 to 6 minutes total, and pork is browned on the outside and no longer pink in the center (cut to test), 5 to 7 minutes total.

4. Transfer chops to plates. Garnish with grilled pineapple and onion. Sprinkle with mint; offer lime wedges to squeeze over pork.

Per serving: 378 cal., 43% (162 cal.) from fat; 32 g protein; 18 g fat (5.6 g sat.); 22 g carbo (2.1 g fiber); 859 mg sodium; 96 mg chol.

WINE PAIRING

Dry Riesling. Try the Trefethen 2003 (Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley; $18), with citrus, apple, and herbal notes.

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