Pork, the other white meat, is a favorite in our house. It’s great on a grill. Delicious when marinated, rubbed or barbecued. So versatile. The mild flavor of pork surrenders well to smoke. It’s just a great meat to work with. I adore pork. If you cannot find chops in the market to your liking, it’s really easy to buy a nice tenderloin and cut your own. For larger chops, use a loin roast. (And no, that’s not a mistake – tenderloin and loin are NOT the same cut of the animals. The tenderloin is long and narrow, while the loin is short and wide).
The rub of this recipe gives a nice outer layer of flavor. The sliced mangoes on the side gives color and a tropical feel to the plate. Can’t you just hear the steel drums? Makes me want to serve cold beverages with slices of pineapple and little umbrellas.
Cuban Grilled Pork Chops
Ingredients – Cuban Rub
2 tablespoons grated lime peel
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped
In small bowl, mix all Cuban Rub ingredients. Set aside until ready to use.
Ingredients – Pork Chops
4 Boneless Pork Loin or Rib Chops, 1″ thick (2 lbs)
1 Mango, sliced
3 Cups Cooked White Rice or Rice Pilaf
Trim excess fat from pork. Work rub into pork chops. Let sit on counter while a fire is built. The chops should sit for about 30 to 40 minutes for the rub to do its thing.
Heat coals for direct grilling. While fire is being built, steam rice.
Place pork 4-6 inches from medium ash coals. Cover and grill 8-10 minutes, turning frequently using barbecue tongs until pork is no longer pink and meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160-degrees. DO NOT over-grill.
Remove from grill, tent and let rest 5-10 minutes.
Serve rice with a pork chop on top. Garnish the plates with mango slices.
This dish would go well with Mango and Jicama Salad