A year or so ago, I bought a fresh pineapple for the sole purpose of making a recipe I had been dying to try — a boneless pork butt slathered in Sriracha and slow roasted for hours on a bed of pineapple. It turned out pretty amazing, a tangy combination of sweet, spicy and sour.
While I loved the flavor, the leftovers turned out to be slightly dry because of the cooking process. The meat ends up glazed and tender, but it lacks a sauce to help keep it moist upon reheating. And even though we are, as I like to put it, “professional eaters,” my husband and I couldn’t polish off the whole six-pound piece in one sitting.
So, since I had recently been daydreaming about the dish, I decided to make it again using a pork tenderloin instead. The key difference is that the pork butt needed to roast for a long time at low temperature to be tender, whereas the tenderloin would be tender cooked to medium-rare. I figured this would offer more forgiveness for the leftovers.
I kept the same preparation, cutting the meat in a spiral and rubbing it with spices and Sriracha before tying it up in kitchen twine. Since the cooking time was dramatically reduced, I started off the pineapple (tossed with equal parts brown sugar and apple cider vinegar) a good hour beforehand.
Once the pineapple was tender and fragrant (and, oh man, it smelled so good!), I placed the tenderloin on top, and let it roll. About 20 minutes later, I opened my oven and was greeted to the most beautiful sight:
Pretty glorious, right?
The pork was crazy tender and had the same awesome sweet and spicy profile of the original. The only downfall was the texture. This cut of meat needs a contrast, a crunchy outside to balance the tender inside. I might pan-sear it next time before rubbing the outside with the Sriracha, getting a nice dark crust on the meat.
But all in all, I absolutely loved it. My husband, on the other hand, told me he liked the first version better. He finds the tenderloin (one of my favorite cuts because of its leanness) mushy and liked the slight chew of the pork butt better.
So I guess I’m going to continue tweaking this one because I love the flavors so much. Every bite that was coated in Sriracha had me reaching for another sweet, sour and juicy bite of pineapple to tame the heat. I could have married this dinner. For reals.
Until I try it again, here’s what I did:
Jessamine’s Sriracha-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked hot paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- A pork tenderloin, around 1-2#
- 1/8 cup or so Sriracha
- One 2-pound ripe pineapple—peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
Mix salt, paprika and onion and garlic powders.
Cut pork into a basic spiral, don’t get to crazy just get it flat. Sprinkle the spice mixture all over the pork, then rub all over with the Sriracha. Roll up the roast and tie it at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine; let marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
While it’s marinating, preheat the oven to 325°. In a large roasting pan, toss the pineapple with the brown sugar and vinegar. Roast for 1-2 hours, tossing fruit gently every thirty minutes or so.
Once it’s tender and delicious, place the pork on top of the pineapple and return to oven. Roast until done, around 20 minutes, basting 3-4 times.
If there’s a lot of liquid at the bottom on the pan, remove pork and set the roasting pan over high heat and boil until the juices are slightly thickened. Once the meat has rested, carve and serve with rice.