Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Jenni's Cuban Pork Recipe
This has got to be one of my family's favorite meals. My husband, my daughter, my parents, my in-laws and my sister's family ALL love this meal. I'm not going to lie, it takes some juggling, but from start to finish tonight it took me under an hour. If you prep ahead of time, it's faster and oh, soooooo yummy!
My wonderful friend Jenni made this for me one day, while we were hanging out with her momma and our kiddos were both tiny babies. Kyle and I met Jenni and her husband Brian in our lamaze class, and we instantly became good friends. Jenni and Brian had recently moved to South Texas from South Florida, by way of Georgia. Our babes were born 2 weeks apart and we spent most of the first year of their lives together.
Jenni's mom came for a visit when the babies were about 6 months old and Reagan and I went to meet her. It was around lunch time and Jenni decided to cook for us! She asked me if I like black beans and yellow rice (which I honestly thought I didn't at the time, but of course told her yes!) and then she set to cookin'! I must say, I was so worried about what I was about to eat... I sometimes have anxiety issues with new foods (I'm a dork, I know...). When we sat down to eat, I was so incredibly surprised at how amazing, flavorful and just downright awesome the food was!! Being of Cuban influence, it was VERY different than anything I'd eaten before. I now share it with everybody I can - and usually see the same reaction from my family members the first time I cook it as I experienced from myself when Jenni cooked it! The moral of this story: try new foods. Especially when the person cooking them grew up in the midst of the culture that inspired it. You will be beyond pleasantly surprised. So, Jenni - this is for you my dear... I miss you tons and through good times and bad, I will remember you, cherish you and trust in you my whole life to come. *muah*
Fresh produce is a must in our home; love, love, love some fresh veggies and fruits!!
You will use one whole sweet yellow onion between the pork and beans (pork & beans, pork & beans!! Sorry....) recipes. 1/3 of the onion will be finely chopped...
and rest slice thickly...
This is the Mojo sauce we buy - you can find it on the "International Foods" aisle at HEB...
Jenni's Cuban Pork
I will write directions for the Cuban Pork itself first. This MUST be served as a whole dish though, and therefore you must serve it with the Cuban Black Beans recipe (to follow) and saffron rice. This is a package deal - don't skimp!!!
1 1/2 - 2 lbs pork chops, boneless
2 cups Mojo sauce
2/3 large sweet yellow onion, thickly sliced
24 oz lager beer (any brand will do... Bud, Bud Light, Miller - whatever you got!)
2/3 cup flour, divided
1 Tbsp Adobo seasoning
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Marinate pork in Mojo several hours or overnight for best flavor. I usually forget to do this and marinate it about 20-30 minutes before cooking... eh, you know! It works...!!
Place pork with Mojo marinade in large pot, add beer and onions.
Boil until pork is cooked through (timing will vary depending on thickness of pork). Once cooked, remove pork from pot and slice into bite sized chunks. Set on paper towel to soak up any excess juices.
Strain out onions, set aside. Save remaining juices (for gravy).
In large Ziploc baggie, mix 1/3 cup flour and Adobo seasoning.
Toss pork pieces in mixture to coat.
Heat oil in same pot. Fry pork in oil until golden brown, remove.
Caramelize onions in pot and remove.
Poor juices back into pot, warm through and make gravy by slowly whisking in remaining flour. Depending on the amount of juices left over, you may need more of less flour, so be ready to improvise! My gravy was chunky... :0( Whisk, whisk, whisk!!
Serve over saffron rice and beans. Top with gravy and caramelized onions.
Cuban Black Beans
1 can black beans (keep juices)
1/3 sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine vinegar or white cooking wine
1 tsp Adobo seasoning
Pour vinegar into small saucepan, add in onion, poblano and garlic.
Cook 5-6 minutes, or until onion and pepper are translucent and tender.
Add beans with juices and Adobo seasoning.
Stir to combine and warm through.
NOTE: This was the first time I bought the Hill Country Fair black beans, I usually buy the Goya brand beans. They don't look very black.. but the flavor was OK. I'd buy Goya again next time.
For the rice - we just use the Mahatma brand yellow saffron rice, and follow the cooking instructions (for our family we really need the 10 oz package, although I mistakenly bought the 5oz package this time! Oops...!).
This also makes a wonderful pot luck. You can layer the rice, beans, pork and onions in a casserole or baking dish and take the gravy on the side. It is so delicious and truly a comfort food. I can't thank Jenni enough for bringing this recipe (along with many other wonderful attributes) into my life. Love you girl!