Cuban Pork Chops with Plantain Mash

We want to thank Gloria Cabada Leman of Carolina Hot Sauce Company for this recipe.   Pork chops and plantains are traditional Cuban foods, and my recipe is based on very old recipes dating back several generations. The Spanish name is “Costillas de Puerco con Machuquillo,” which translates to “pork chops with mashed plantains,” and the zesty marinade is called “mojo.” This very rich and highly flavorful dish requires at least 1 hour for marinating and then about an hour or so for cooking, but it’s not difficult and is worth the time. If you’re not familiar with Cuban food, this is an excellent introduction because the flavors are approachable and familiar rather than “exotic,” and it’s not hot or spicy (most Cuban food doesn’t use hot peppers).

For a healthier dish I reduced the salt (trust me, you won’t miss it), cut back on the amount of fat used in old recipes and suggested Spanish olive oil as an alternative pork fat. Also, traditional recipes call for frying the plantain rounds in a lot of oil, then mashing them with the cracklings and re-frying the mash in pork fat. Instead of double-frying the plantains, I boiled them first and then fried them after mashing.

The following recipe will serve two, and I don’t recommend simply doubling all the ingredients for more servings because it unbalances the marinade and probably also makes too much mashed plantain. I’m developing a 4-serving version and hope to post that in the future.

Ingredients for Pork Chops

  • 2 pork chops (about 1″ thick, approx. 3/4 lbs total weight)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup bitter orange (also called “naranja agria” or Seville orange juice)*
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup white wine (I used chardonnay but any drinkable dry white is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs olive oil (preferably Spanish), pork lard or bacon fat

Ingredients for Plantain Mash

  • 2 green plantains (approx 1 1/4 lbs total)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs bitter orange juice, or lemon or lime juice, in a small bowl
  • 1 Tbs olive oil (preferably Spanish), pork lard or bacon fat

Click For Directions

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2 thoughts on “Cuban Pork Chops with Plantain Mash

  1. Fufu!! I love fufu. Mashed plantain with pork scratchings. Its comfort food, Cuban style. Though as I’m based in Cuba I use the full fat version of everything. Partly because a bottle of olive oil (if you can find it) costs a month’s salary….

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