Upside-down Pineapples, But Not Cake

I really like pineapple upside-down cake. It’s probably one of my favorite desserts. This isn’t a recipe for pineapple upside-down cake, though.

It’s a recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Pork.

Interestingly enough, that particular piece of pork looks kinda like sponge cake.

The recipe:

Pineapple Upside-Down Pork
3 thick pork chops (mine were 1.5 lbs total)
1 can pineapple rings
1/2 stick salted butter
dark brown sugar
maraschino cherries
Worcestershire sauce
garlic powder
onion salt

Do This
Preheat the oven to 365 degrees.
Open the can of pineapple rings, pour the juice into a glass, and set aside. Line the bottom of a glass baking dish with the rings. If you’re using a 13×9 pan and a standard can of pineapple rings, you should have exactly one left over. Eat it. It’s tasty.
Remove the stems from several maraschino cherries, and place one in the center of each pineapple ring. You’re also allowed to snack on these.
Melt the 1/2 stick of butter and spoon 5-6 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar into a bowl with the melted butter. Stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add in a few shakes of garlic powder, onion salt, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce – start with well under 1 tsp of each and modify to taste. Pour half of the pineapple juice into this mixture, stir until all of the sugar and spices are dissolved and the consistency is similar to maple syrup. Taste-test it: it should be part sweet (the pineapple and sugar), part savory, and just a bit tangy (the spices and Worcestershire). Pour this sauce over the pineapple rings and cherries.
Trim the fat from the pork chops, then cut each chop in half so that you have two pieces with the same dimensions as the original chop, but half the thickness. If you started with 3 chops, you’ll end up with 6 slices of pork.
In a small bowl, mix about 1 tsp each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion salt. Rub a pinch of this blend into each piece of pork – it should be a very light coating because there are 6 pieces of pork and only a few tsp of spices. Arrange the pork on top of the pineapple rings.
Put the baking dish in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. When it goes off, quickly flip the pork over (the side now facing the top should have a light coating of the brown sugar sauce) and pour the remaining pineapple juice into the pan. Set the oven timer for another 10 minutes. Check to make sure that the pork is cooked all the way through (return to the oven for a few more minutes if the meat thermometer doesn’t read at least 160 degrees when stuck in the center of the thickest piece of pork) and set aside to cool for five minutes.
With pineapple upside-down cake, the most fun part is flipping over the pan to reveal the pineapples and cherries on the bottom (now top) of the cake. I strongly suggest that you do NOT try this with the pork. I suspect that you would spill sauce all over the place, and possibly burn yourself. A safer idea might be to use a fork or spatula to put the pork onto a plate, layer the pineapple and cherry on top of the pork, and spoon the sauce over top to recreate the upside-down cake look.

I was worried at first that this would end up being extraordinarily sweet, but the garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce do a great job of balancing out the sweetness of the pineapples, sugar, and cherries. I encourage constant taste-testing to achieve this balance – except for the uncooked pork, of course. When I made this dish, the sauce was sweet enough to resemble the dessert that inspired the dish, but not overwhelmingly so. In the same vein, the spices and Worcestershire sauces are not meant to be applied as generously as I might encourage with other recipes; the garlic powder, onion salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce were added gradually in small (< 1/2 tsp at a time) amounts until I reached a blend of sweet and savory.

I’m no sommelier, but I thoroughly reccomend serving this dish with Invisible Cherry Kool-Aid.


9 Responses to “Upside-down Pineapples, But Not Cake”

  1. Jessica Says:

    That looks yummy! At first glance i thought it was cake. lol

  2. Jenny Says:

    Excellent. The cake-resemblance in that photo was totally an afterthought – I decided to go with the on-the-fork shot because all but two of the porkchops were being consumed while I was taking the pictures, and the two pineapple rings with cherries in the middle sorta looked like boobs.
    Sometimes, I have the maturity of a 7-year-old.

  3. amberance Says:

    Dude. Dude! I was wondering what I was going to make for dinner Friday night. Now I know. I love Kool-Aid, but I go for the color-changin’ cherry over the invisible cherry because it’s fun to confuse people.

  4. Jenny Says:

    I like Invisible Cherry because it looks like water == equally confusing.

  5. Pablo Says:

    Ha! I thought you were being clever and meant white wine by “invisible cherry Kool-Aid”!

    Looks yummy!

  6. Janice Says:

    I read about this site in the paper and have visited it a few times. This particular recipe sounded really bizarre to me. Pork and pineapple are a common culinary combination, but the mixture of ingredients sounded like an amalgam of whatever was in the kitchen cupboard – a technique that seldom works. Nevertheless, I had to see for myself if this was really any good. It wasn’t. Salt, onion salt, AND salted butter? Pork is already a dry meat… I don’t know what will get me first – hypertension or a broken crown from insanely tough meat. Curiosity does in fact kill the cat (with 10,000 mg of sodium).

    My son will eat just about anything, but this was just too much for even him to stomach. He couldn’t get past the first bite. Pineapple with garlic salt? What about this sounded like a good idea. Needless to say, my suspicions were confirmed.

    Luckily we were saved by the pizza delivery man. Readers, don’t waste your time. Jenny, please stick to the cupcakes.

  7. Jenny Says:

    Janice, thanks for the input. I’m bummed that the recipe didn’t work out for you, but I’m happy that you gave it a try and helped point out some things that I didn’t notice when I made it.

    The recipe is definitely unconventional, and it was also rather experimental (for me, at least). I’m going to give it another re-try this weekend to see whether I achieve the same results as I did in the previous batches, and I’ll revise the recipe if necessary.

    I’ve modified the posted recipe a bit for the sake of clarity.

  8. Owned Says:

    LOL Janice got served.

  9. Leeroy Says:

    Seriously Janice, go bitch somewhere else. Plenty of recipes are great on this site. I personally have not tried the pork thing, but you can’t expect 100% of the recipes here to be AMAZING! In fact I’d bet half the reason you didn’t like it was your inability to cook. Now run along eating your pizza you fat ass.

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