Mrs. Regueiro's Plate: Cuban Pork Chops

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cuban Pork Chops

I love like L.O.V.E. this recipe, and it's been a staple on our menu as long as I've been cooking for the husband. If you don't know, my husband is CUBAN. ¡Dale! My dish is reminiscent of his family's cooking, and this dish been made at several occasions for his family, even my family, and our hungry friends, too. Everyone loves this dish, it's always a crowd pleaser in our house. During the holidays typically for Christmas Eve for mis familia de Regueiros', they prepare a roasted pig, aka lechon asado. It's definitely a feast to enjoy and savor because the lechon is roasted all day long in a caja china until its completely cooked. Also, there is a cuban mojo that is heavily used as the marinade is in a world of its own. I could drink that stuff with a little rum, it be a little garlic lime mojito for me. *slurp*

I served this dish with white rice, dinner salad, mangoes and a side of mojo. Typically for bigger parties, I'll prepare cuban black beans, and that completes this meal to a tee, and I would also need a side of platanos, too! Okay, that would be the ultimate cuban meal. I'll include the recipe for the mojo...because it's that good! I feel like I gave away one of best-kept recipes, but it's worth sharing it with everyone, too!

Cuban Pork Chops
Original Krystal Recipe, inspired from my MIL
3 tablespoons lime zest
1.5 tablespoon cumin
1.5 tablespoon Sazon Completa Badia (It's a mix of salt, pepper, garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, mexican oregano and paprika)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
4 boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick (about 2 pounds)
Mango slices, optional

1. In small bowl, mix all ingredients together. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and rub evenly on both sides of pork.
2. Heat BBQ grill for direct heat. Sear the meat briefly over a hot flame and then reduce the heat and move the meat away from the fire to slow cook for an additional 4-5 minutes per side. When the chops are done, the juices should run clear (rather than pink). You can also use a meat thermometer, it should read 160°F.
3. Garnish with mango slices and add a little mojo on top of your pork!

Cuban Mojo - It's not Austin Powers with a's the best marinade/sauce ever!
3 limes, juiced
5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup of water or more if needed
1 blood orange, juiced (optional)

1. Put all ingredients except the water in a mini food processor and blend away, and after it's been processed. Add an equal amount of water, and blend again. Season to taste, it should be very garlicky and lime-y.
Note: Mojo is the perfect accompainment to your Cuban meal. Some mojo sauces have orange juice in it, but then it makes it too sweet. The juice from a blood orange is typically used as well, but I didn't have any available.

Review: I have prepared the pork chops by panfrying them in the past because we did not want to hassle with the grill, and I'll admit...DON'T DO IT, it's not the same. You'll enjoy the smokiness from the cumin, and juicness of the pork so much more if you take the time to grill it. ENJOY! Buen provecho!
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