Pork is one of those meats that just begs for something tangy and sweet to be served with it. Mango chutney, peach salsa, melon pineapple salsa, or even just good old applesauce warmed up with a little cinnamon mixed in all just seem to fit naturally with the flavor of a juicy pork chop. Even the traditional roasted pig usually has a cavity stuffing of vegetables and apples (not to mention the apple stuffed into its mouth).
In this recipe, we’re going to keep the fruit itself simple, add the tanginess with the sauce, and throw in a little southwestern kick to the pork itself. It’s a combination that works great on skewers, or can be sautéed up in a wok just as well on a night when the weather just isn’t right for grilling.
- 1-3/4 lbs +/- of your choice of pork cut. We’ve got blade rib steaks here because they’ve got a touch more fat and lend themselves to being cut into chunks.
- 1 large mango, peeled and cut into 3/4″ to 1″ chunks
- 1 large heirloom tomato, cut into large wedges
- 2 tbsp olive oil (not pictured)
- 9~12 bamboo skewers, soaked for 30 min in water (unless you’ve got nice metal ones)
- Juice from 2 large oranges (about 1 cup), including the pulp
- 1 lime, zest and juice, including the pulp
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, rolled and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine all of the sauce ingredients except the mint in a small saucepan. Heat and whisk on medium just to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Let it simmer, whisking occasionally, until it is very thick (think heavy maple syrup) and reduced to about 1/2 cup total volume (20~30 minutes). Turn your attention to the other steps while this is cooking.
Pour the olive oil over the pork, then turn to coat well. Mix all of the rub ingredients together in a separate small prep bowl, then sprinkle a little at a time over the pork, turning and mixing to cover and coat with the rub.
Thread the pork, mango, and tomato onto skewers, alternating each one, until you’ve used up all of them. I ended up with nine here, some with a little more pork and mango. A trick I’ve learned since I made this is to use twoskewers for each one…this keeps the food from spinning on the one skewer when you try to turn them. I’ll remember that next time! Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking. Get the grill warmed up to high (450~550 degrees).
At the same time that you finish threading the skewers, your sauce ought to be getting close. If it’s nice and thick and reduced, pull it off the heat and let it cool to about the temp of hot tap water. When cool, stir in the mint leaves.
For a non-skewered version, sauté the pork first in a wok on medium high heat with a little coconut oil added (you shouldn’t need too much because the pork is tossed with olive oil). As the pork nears about 1/2 done, reduce the heat to medium and toss in the mango and tomato. Continue to sauté until the pork is just done and the mango and tomato have caramelized a little. Serve as above!