If you have been following my blog you may recall reading the post about grilled salmon mojo de ajo. It was titled “Garlic Is Good For You”. Did you know that garlic contains manganese, Vitamin B1, B6 and Vitamin C ? These are just a few of garlic’s healthy benefits. Garlic is wonderful used as seasoning for its taste, aroma and added nutrition.
I add garlic to many recipes and meals at the Orange Bee. After having the mojo sauce with the salmon I wanted to use it with another meal as well since mojo de ajo is one of my favorites. I figure if it was good with the salmon it would be good with other meats or seafood as well. As usual, I looked in the freezer to see what I could prepare that might go well with all that garlic. Bingo! Wild hog pork chops. Yes, I said, “wild hog”. The chops were given to me by my bee mentor, Mr. Floyd. I was not completely sure how it would work since I’d never prepared wild hog chops before. I was sure willing to give it a try. One of my main concerns was if the meat would be tender or tough, so I chose to braise the meat, hoping to ensure its tenderness. The pork chops were falling off the bone and had no wild taste whatsoever.
The mojo de ajo can be made ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to use it. Another favorite flavor of mine is that which comes from poblano chiles. They are always easy to find and add a fresh, flavorful taste to foods. Since the mojo is spanish or mexican in flavor I made chile rellenos on the side. There is not a recipe for how I make them but I will give instructions below the pork recipe for you to follow if you’d like to try them.
Before I go, I’ll give you an update about my bees. Yesterday my hive grew by leaps and bounds. An entire box of bees moved in. To hear the rest of the story go to the “Bees & Honey” page at the top of the blog. Click on “All Hail The Queen”/Movin’ On Up.
Braised Pork with Mojo de Ajo
5 lbs Pork Chops on the bone
2 14 oz. cans chicken broth (low sodium)
1 large head of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt & pepper or to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
Heat oven to 400*. Combine pork, broth, 1/2 of the chopped garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper in a large oven proof pot. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, using a mitt! Transfer pork to a platter and keep warm.
Place pot on stove top and boil liquid in the pot until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. About 30 minutes. Return pork to pot.
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a heavy skillet on medium high and add onion and remaining garlic. Saute until soft and golden. This mixture will be placed on top of the pork chops with the mojo being spooned on top of that.
Mojo de Ajo Sauce
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
8 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. grated orange peel
1 tbsp. dried oregano
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. salt & pepper
Whisk all ingredients together.
When ready to serve the pork, place the pork on the plate, place the onion and garlic mixture on top of chops and spoon the mojo on top of all. This is making my mouth water as I write about it as it is delicious. Below is a brief explanation of how I made the chile rellenos to accompany the pork.
Wash poblano chiles and roast over a hot grill. To do this just get your grill fired up and lay the chiles on the grates turning to burn the skins on all sides. When peppers are roasted and beginning to blacken place them in a brown paper bag to steam for a few minutes. Remove skin, stem and seeds, being careful not to cut but a slit in the pepper. I stuffed them with sharp cheddar cheese this time and sprinkled a few chopped green onions on top. They can be placed back on the grill to melt the cheese or put them in the oven to melt the cheese.
Serve with fresh fruit and you’ll have a tasty, flavorful, healthy dinner.