Pineapple meats a new friend: Fruity steak and hot dogs

In case you hadn’t already noticed, I love pineapple. There’s some mysterious hidden quality it holds that drives me slightly wild. So if one of these spiky, beautifully ugly tropical creatures ever catches my eye at the fruit store, resistance is futile. Even though every time I think about buying one I am worried I won’t eat it all before it goes brown and slimy.

This terrifying possibility has never been realised, pineapple seems to disappear all too quickly around this house. And since we are now undeniably ensconced in winter (a balmy Melbourne winter but winter nonetheless), it is about to disappear for longer than usual as I try to do my bank balance and the environment a favour by eating seasonally. In fact, it is already too late for the poor, sad pineapples in Collingwood’s fruit stores and supermarkets, as you will see that in both these recipes I have used pineapple juice rather than real pineapple. My only advice regarding pineapple juice is don’t use a shelf stable product (aka unrefrigerated). If it can sit for months on a shelf, it is not juice. Try to find a shop that sells refrigerated pineapple juice or buy a pineapple and juice it.

Pineapple marinated steak
*1 cup pineapple juice
*1/2 cup soy sauce
*1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
*2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
*3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
*One 2cm chunk of ginger, grated finely
*1 Tbsp golden syrup or brown sugar
*1 long red chilli, chopped
*1 or 2 steak cuts of your choice (but preferably something good for grilling eg porterhouse)

*Mix together all ingredients apart from the steak until well combined
*Pour over the steak in a shallow bowl and leave to marinate for as long as possible (overnight is best, the steak will absorb a lot of the moisture and go slightly brown on the outside but don’t let this freak you out, it will still taste good)
*Grill as usual to your preferred level of ‘doneness’ and rest for a few minutes before serving

Spice Island inspired hot dogs
*1 small onion, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
*1 cup pineapple juice
*1/2 cup chilli sauce
*2 Tbsp soy sauce
*1 Tbsp brown sugar
*1/2 tsp hot mustard
*500g frankfurters (although using more or less won’t make a difference to the above proportions if you want to make a change)
*Hot dog buns

*Cook onion and garlic in a large saucepan over a medium heat for about 5 mins until soft
*Add pineapple juice, chilli sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and mustard and simmer for about 15 mins until sauce has thickened, stirring often
*Add frankfurters and cook until they are cooked through
*Serve the frankfurters on the buns (toasted or untoasted – your choice) with your favourite toppings

Toppings: I used cheese, coriander and the sauce I cooked the frankfurters in but mustard, tomato sauce and sauerkraut/fried onions are also highly recommended. The only limits on toppings are your imagination and any pre-existing cholesterol issues.

Suggested “Cooking with pineapple” playlist
Leon Russell: Back to the Island
Elvis Presley: Blue Hawaii
The Troggs: Wild Thing
Hall and Oates: You Make My Dreams Come True
Stardust: Music Sounds Better With You
The Lovin’ Spoonful: Summer In The City
Shaun Cassidy: Da Doo Ron Ron

And to all my pineapple friends: don’t get too comfy on that lonely fruit store shelf, I’ll be seeing you when it’s possible to wear a sleeveless dress again. We’ll have a reunion with our mutual friends mint, rum, coconut and lime.

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