It would have been too easy enjoying the fresh, sweet pineapple on its own, or chopped up with some yogurt. Instead, I commenced an intensive Google "pineapple" search and came across La Cucina Italiana's article about Mostarda, an Italian condiment made of candied fruit and mustard flavored syrup. I absolutely love trying new recipes, especially if they are Italian! The article led me to La Cucina Italiana's recipe for Pineapple and Pear Mostarda, and a recommended pairing with Braised Beef Cheeks.
I made the Mostarda first, called and located beef cheeks, but ultimately decided to pair it with pork this time.
After the mostarda sat in the refrigerator overnight, I found it to be a bit too sweet and juicy. I added another tablespoon of mustard powder and splash of wine, and reduced it down for another 40 minutes. By that time, I was very pleased with the ultimate flavor and consistency.
Pineapple and Pear Mostarda
la mostarda di ananas e pera
From La Cucina Italiana, with some minor changes
Makes 3 1/2 cups
3 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 large Bosc pears (about 1 1/4 pounds total), peeled, cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices
1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons dry mustard
5 tablespoons dry white wine
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1 cup cold water and lemon juice; bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is clear and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Add pear, reduce mixture to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Return mixture to a simmer and cook until pear slices are tender yet still hold their shape, about 10 minutes more.
Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl; drain pear, reserving syrup. Transfer pear slices to prepared baking sheet and cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
In a second large saucepan, combine remaining 2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups cold water; bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is clear and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add pineapple, reduce mixture to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Return mixture to a simmer and cook until pineapple is semi-translucent, about 10 minutes more.
Set a fine-mesh sieve over a second large bowl; drain pineapple, reserving syrup. Transfer pineapple to prepared baking sheet and cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together 3⁄4 cup of each of the reserved syrups (to make 1 1/2 cups combined syrup); discard any remaining syrup.
In a small saucepan, whisk together mustard and wine. Set over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add mustard mixture to reserved syrup mixture and whisk well to combine.
Gently stir together fruits; transfer to a 4-cup heatproof glass jar with a lid. Pour syrup over fruit, seal jar, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 10 days.
Again, I found the recipe was a little sweet and had too much liquid. I recommend adding some additional mustard powder to taste, and a little more wine, and then reducing it down for an additional 30-40 minutes.
I served our Mostarda with roast pork tenderloin, which I smeared with mixture of coarse mustard, olive oil, garlic, thyme and rosemary, pan-seared, and roasted in a 425 degree F oven to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. I then deglazed the roasting pan with a splash of white wine and touch of cream, added the mostarda, and cooked over over low until warmed through. There are actually several variations of Mostarda, and I am now inspired to try the most famous, mostarda di Cremona.
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Mostarda, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, and steamed broccoli