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This sticky-sweet Kielbasa and Pineapple Spiced “Candy” is so good, it’s sure to become a favorite at your next barbecue!A few weeks ago, we tried a newer restaurant in town with some friends. It was a dinner to celebrate the end of the school year for all of our girls, as well as a last chance to visit with some neighbors who always travel for most of the summer visiting family across the country whom they don’t get to see during the school year. The restaurant – Surfside Smokehouse – was right on Plymouth Harbor in Massachusetts with gorgeous views of the ocean and marina. And, although the restaurant was right on the water – it featured a really great Southern Barbecue-inspired menu. The food was outstanding (and we don’t say that very often) along with great service in a fun, dockside atmosphere. Our group ordered several appetizers, then we shared a feast of a variety of barbecued meats, coleslaw, baked beans, corn on the cob, and more! But the one dish that really stood out for all of us was their appetizer called Kielbasa and Pineapple Spiced “Candy”. Slices of kielbasa and chunks of fresh pineapple were grilled until caramelized – then topped with a sweet and spicy sauce that had a perfect kick of heat at the end! We loved that Kielbasa and Pineapple Spiced “Candy” – and I couldn’t decide which bite I enjoyed more…the savory kielbasa or the sweet, juicy pineapple. Jack and I immediately knew we’d try recreating this dish at home – so we asked our waiter if he could tell us what ingredients made up that fantastic spicy sauce. He mentioned red pepper flakes as well as apple juice – but that was all he knew. So over the course of the last few weeks, Jack experimented in the kitchen – and I think he’s come very close to recreating that wonderful Kielbasa and Pineapple Spiced “Candy”.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup shallots, minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup sherry
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup cola (not diet)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 pound kielbasa, sliced into quarter inch slices
- ¼ fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
- In medium sauce pan, melt butter and add shallots and pepper flakes over medium heat.
- Sauté three minutes then add sherry. Cook to evaporate the sherry, about two minutes.
- Add apple juice and bring to a boil then reduce to a fast simmer and cook down to a syrup, about ten minutes.
- Add cola and bring to a boil then reduce to a fast simmer and cook down to a syrup, about ten minutes.
- Add brown sugar, mustard and ketchup and simmer until thick and sticky, about five minutes. (About the consistency of a thick maple syrup).
- Turn the burner off and leave sauce in the pan.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat and once hot, lay out half of the kielbasa slices and cook for five minutes. Turn each slice and cook for five more minutes. Add this batch to the sauce but leave the fat behind.
- Pour the fat into a small bowl and wipe the pan clean.
- Repeat for the second half of the kielbasa, again adding to the sauce and pouring the fat into the small bowl.
- Turn the burner back on under the sauce at a low heat to stay warm while you grill the pineapple.
- Wipe the pan clean and heat back over medium.
- Pour two tablespoons of the reserved fat onto the pan and once hot, place all of the pineapple pieces onto the hot fat.
- Grill the pineapple for five minutes per side and add to the pan with the kielbasa.
- Serve hot as an appetizer.
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