Pickled Pineapple on Pork Tenderloin Medallions

March 3, 2011 at 7:23 am | Posted in Fruit, pork | 40 Comments
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I grew up on a farm in the middle of Kansas where the closest town of any size was Hutchinson. With a population of about 40,000 and known to locals as Hutch, it’s also referred to as the Salt City because it sits on miles of salt mines. It hosts the Kansas State Fair and the Men’s National Junior College Basketball TournamentWhen I was growing up there, we bought our groceries and shopped for clothes from stores that were owned by people who lived in Hutchinson and we relied on The Hutchinson News-Herald to keep us connected with neighboring communities of small farming towns.

For longer than I can remember, The Hutchinson News has been faithful about providing some sort of regularly published readership submitted  recipe roundup.  In recent years it’s been an insert in the newspaper, and in earlier years spiral-bound cookbooks.  The recipes were a compilation from ones published each day  in the News-Herald ‘s Favorite Recipe column. The daily women’s page feature was started as an experiment in 1948.

Each publication was overseen and recipes were judged by local business women who held titles such as  Home Service Director with the local gas company,  Home Economist with the County Extension Office, or a Home Editor with the newspaper. I look forward to sharing several of the recipes from these books, recipes from a simpler time, recipes from the heartland where ingredients were few and instructions didn’t include terms like chiffonade, saute or macerate.

I have three of these old cookbooks from my mom’s collection. The recipe I’m going to talk about today is one I found in the book with recipes collected from 1952 – 1955. The oldest edition I have was published in 1949 and as the cover indicates, sold for 60 cents. Inside it states that  it’s the 2nd edition in the series. 

We like anything pickled, so when I spotted this recipe for pickled pineapple I had to give it a try. Incredibly easy, it simply states “serve with poultry, meat or fish“. Following instructions, a week later I had a tangy sweet and sour topping for my meat course. 

I chose pork tenderloin to slice into 1 inch medallions. Using my cast iron skillet, I seared the meat well and then sautéed until just pink inside. While the meat was cooking, I fine chopped and deflamed some onion to sprinkle on the pork before topping with the pickled fruit. I learned the deflaming technique from Rick Bayless. Simply chop onion, place in a colander and then submerge the colander in a bowl of cold water to cover the onion. Let sit for a few minutes and drain. This technique takes that heat out of the onion resulting in a milder flavor. The sweet and sour pineapple was a great topping for the pork and the onion added a dimension and crunch.

Here’s the recipe as printed in the cookbook.

Pickled Pineapple:

  • No. 2 1/2 can pineapple chunks or slices
  • 3/4 C. vinegar
  • 1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 4-inch stick cinnamon

Drain syrup from pineapple into saucepan. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and spices. Simmer uncovered for ten minutes and then add pineapple and bring to a boil. Cool and let stand in refrigerator (covered) for one week. Serve with poultry, meat or fish. Submitted by Louise Dick, Mt. Hope, Kansas.

Served with a side of sautéed asparagus we had an easy and tasty dinner.

Out of interest I Googled Louise Dick. She was born in 1913 and died in 1967.  She is buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery.

Pickled Pineapple on Pork Medallions…It’s What’s For Dinner.



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  1. That pineapple sounds like such a fresh topping!

    • Thanks Pam. It’s fresh in a tangy type of way. I loved this recipe.

  2. I love the combination of pork and pineapple. This sounds yummy. Am I crazy or would this pineapple be delish in a shrimp salad? I’m yearning for spring salad recipes!

    • You know, I like your idea with the shrimp. Not crazy at all. I do believe the shrimp salad would need some strong seasoning, with a little heat. Susan, I agree, I’m finding myself digging through my salad recipes.

  3. What an interesting recipe. I think this is the perfect accompaniment for the pork. Those old cookbooks where lots of people contribute are great!

    • Thanks Karen. I agree with the old cookbooks. Love browsing them.

  4. How wonderful! I love old cookbooks… they’re such an interesting snapshot of the past. I’m going to have to try this recipe. We both love pineapple.

    • I would have used fresh pineapple but none were to be found. Can’t wait to try it again. I agree with the snapshot from the past. Love browsing these books.

  5. Looks wonderful! I love fruit with pork…perfect!

  6. I like where you’re going with this . . . I always hit the kitchen boxes when I go to estate sales. Fun to look at the clippings and old cookbooks. This recipe looks fun and who can resist pineapple on pork chops? I had to smile about deflaming onions. I do that, but didn’t know there was a name for it. 🙂

    • I had never heard about deflaming onions until I went to see Rick Bayless. You’re way ahead of me girl!!!! I’m now a faithful deflamer. 🙂 I think Rick named it that.

      • LOL “Faithful Deflamer” . . . 😀

        I just use a strainer to rinse my onions in cold water to take the sting out of them. Rick’s term and method is way more official and I love it!

        I wanted to add that I love your writing (especially on this piece because you’re so good to add thoughtful details, history and background. What fun to remember simpler times and look at “old school” cooking. I’d love to see more! I have a cookbook I picked up at an estate sale called “52 Sunday Dinners” and wanted to prepare something from it. It’s from early in the century and has some crazy dishes.

  7. Well, I bet The Herald is much more cosmopolitan than The Newton Kansan!

    • Or the Nickerson Argosy?

  8. I haven’t had in a long time and would love it!

    • Joumana, this is the first time I’ve ever made pickled pineapple. We really enjoyed it. As always thanks for stopping by.

  9. I hear the word macerate on TV but have no idea what it means or if I need to in my lifetime – I may look it up some time. My Mom and Grandma never sauteed or caramelized a thing in their life, they just fried and browned things. Pickled pineapple sounds interesting – I can’t even imagine the flavor.

    • I had to look it up. I somewhat knew what to expect because I thought it had something to do with chewing. It means to soften or separate food by cooking in a liquid. And I think it’s usually in a sweet liquid…I dunno. 🙂 The pineapple was very good. I added it to my database and will use it a lot this summer on grilled pork. I’d also like to try it on salmon.

  10. What a gorgeous dish Lea Ann. We must be on the same wave length. I’ve got pork and pineapple on our menu this weekend at home.

    Thanks for the tip on the onions from Rick Bayless. I recently read something similar for red onions. Would you recommend deflaming all onions?

    • Thanks Sam. I don’t know if you’re supposed to deflame all types of onions, but since learning the technique, I have been.

  11. When I lived in Hutch I worked at Cargill Salt and they used to publish a little cookbook too. I’ll have to see if I can dig it out. I just love old recipe books because of the intriguing and delicious you find inside. I love this one.

    • Boy does Cargill Salt ring a bell… I hope you can dig it out, I’d love to see it. This pineapple was good and the recipe is now in my database. Did you notice the one above it in the photo? Dutch Honey…I’ll be trying that one as soon as I can. 🙂

  12. I just love old special books like this – I swear they result in some of the best recipes!

    The combination of pork and pinapple is perfect and something I crave often!

    Thanks for sharing the Bayless technique too, he is full of excellent ones!

    Very nice!!!!!!

    • Thanks so much. I have about 15 old old books that I’ve been pouring through lately. Too much fun.

  13. I love old recipe books like this Lee Ann! Sometimes you can find real gems in them. The pickled pineapple is just the perfect topping for your pork!

    • I’m still scouring these books for more gems to share. Thanks Reeni

  14. This is definitely local cooking at its most literal and at its finest. I’ve never thought to pickle pineapple but it sounds delicious!

    • Easy and delicious Joanne. As always thanks for stopping by.

  15. Pork and pineapple are such a delicious combination! Pickled sounds good to me, a little different, but nice. I’d definitely try it!

  16. Such cool origins! I get a kick of flipping through the older cookbooks…sometimes they have some crazy (to me, now) stuff. I do love the sound of pickled pineapple, though…cuz I love all things pickled, too. I wonder if fresh would work cuz I really don’t like the flavor of canned pineapple. I may just have to try that! 😀

  17. I adore these old recipes, Lea Ann. And what fun you have some copies. There are always gems in those wonderful books.
    Never heard of pickled pineapple, but I’m all over it. What a super idea!

  18. this looks great and I can’t believe it was published so long ago and seems so modern yum

  19. Never had pickled pineapple before. But will remedy that situation immediately! Cheers!

  20. I have so totally lost your e-mail address, but I wanted to let you know that I found a great deal on a Canon DSLR if you are interested. Drop me a note if you want to hear more.

  21. What an ending! I’m glad you found out about Louise.

    My parents grew up in very small Iowa town, so I have inherited a number of cook books compiled by the town church. You’ve inspired me to dig a few out.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve never lived in a small town, but there’s something so romantic about that way of life.

  22. I am intriqued by pickled pineapple. I cannot wait to give it a shot. Sometimes it feels like I work in a salt mine.

  23. Let me just say for the record, I need to be your neighbor. Love, love your recipes.
    Pineapple was really big in the 50’s-it was the centerpiece of entertaining besides drinking martinis straight-up or bourbon.

    Have a great weekend.

  24. Yum, pickled pineapple sounds delicious. I love those old cookbooks from the 40’s and 50’s. I have some wonderful recipes from old church and ladies clubs books, some very strangle ones as well. I bet this relish is good with BBQ.

  25. The cloves in the pickled pineapple sound fantastic. I have a fresh pina on the counter now. Thanks for sharing the recipe and for the info about Hutch and the salt mines. Adding to my interesting facts list.

    • Andrea, I wanted to make this with fresh, but at the time, Safeway didn’t have any and I didn’t feel like driving all over town. Yup, I used to be able to buy table salt from those mines, but haven’t paid much attention these days since I buy more sea salt.

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