Pork Chops with Mango Salsa – Dancing to my own tune!

Pork chops and mango salsa (16 of 16)

This dish of pork chops with mango salsa probably has as many variations as there are dance styles at a country Irish wedding. Not that I get to attend too many weddings these days. My stage of life falls well after the ‘best friends wedding’ stage, the ‘christening the baby’ stage and even the “Is that your third wife?” stage. Thankfully, I haven’t arrived at the ‘funeral a week’ stage either. I am in that happy place of caring less and less what people think of me. This is a period in one’s degeneration where one also admits stuff to oneself and those around them. My admission here is that I hate to dance. I don’t waltz. Nor do I rhumba. If you see me doing a quickstep, I’m probably avoiding a creditor. However, one can’t think about eating a huge, 4cm (1.5 inch) thick, free range, organic, rare breed pork chop without feeling the need to take a quick turn around the island unit. 

Hence, I get to do a salsa for you. I got my hands on four edible mangos (a pretty good trick here in Ireland) and add a few other ingredients to make this lovely dish.

Lovely ingredients and some lovely colours too.

Lovely ingredients and some lovely colours too.

Mango Salsa Ingredients

  • 4 ripe mangos
  • 1 or 2 red onions (depending on size)
  • Juice of 2 or 3 limes (again, depending on size and juiciness)
  • Large handful of coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 red chili (for colour and flavour)

The preparation is very straightforward. Half the mangos, along the line of the edge of the big seed inside. Cut through the flesh of the half without the seed into a pattern to allow you turn the skin half inside out, like in the picture.

It looks like a dance skirt spinning....

It looks like a dance skirt spinning….

Slice the mango chunks off. Trim the seed out of the other side of the mango and repeat the process. Slice the onion, chili and coriander into small pieces and mix with the mango in a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the mixture and stir to coat.

Try to avoid eating it straight away. It's very tasty.

Try to avoid eating it straight away. It’s very tasty.

Pop this into the fridge for a couple of hours (It’s nicer cold). While you’re there, get the organic, free range, rare breed pork out of the fridge.

Side note on quality pork: Most of you who get to read this will not be able to get organic, free range, rare breed pork. It’s not called rare for nothing. If you can, do. If you can’t, get the best quality you can. It’s worth the effort and expense. 

There were 5 of us for dinner. Nearly enough to form a short conga line.

There were 5 of us for dinner. Nearly enough to form a short conga line.

To prevent the chops tensing up and bending (in the same way as I do when I try to dance) slice through the skin and fat at intervals.

The slices need to be evenly spaced like dance steps.

The slices need to be evenly spaced like dance steps.

Heat a cast iron skillet to very hot. Season the pork. Like in a good dance routine, repeat the process. You want lots of salt and pepper on there.

Lots of seasoning is important for flavour. Don't be shy.

Lots of seasoning is important for flavour. Don’t be shy.

Place the chops, as many as will fit, on the skillet. Don’t touch them for 5 minutes. Turn them over and let them brown on high heat for another minute or two.

The chops take on a glorious colour.

The chops take on a glorious colour.

Place the skillet in a 200ºC (400ºF) oven for ten minutes. Take the chops out and let them rest on a warm plate.

Pork stock and white wine . The Fred and Ginger of flavour sensations.

Pork stock and white wine . The Fred and Ginger of flavour sensations.

If you are lucky to have some highly concentrated pork stock in your freezer, add them to the skillet and reduce until they make a thick tasty gravy.

Deglazing and delicious. Perfect partnership.

Deglazing and delicious. Perfect partnership.

Serve the chops with the salsa and a little of the highly concentrated, highly flavoursome gravy.

Thankfully, there is a nice couple of glasses of wine too.

Thankfully, there is a nice couple of glasses of wine too.

This dish is the perfect combination of fruity zest and meaty flavour. Even if you don’t fancy yourselves as Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev or John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, this lovely dish will let you set your rhythm in the kitchen.

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Latest comments
  • Still laughing at the creditor crack, you’ll have to pay for my laptop to be fixed if you keep making me spit out my tea.
    Lovely combo, Mr B, and very fine-looking pork.

      • O lucky man! It’s drizzling here. Have a great holiday. I look forward to seeing the results on the page.

          • There, there, let me dry your eyes with my hanky, poor boy. I’ll bet you’ve got a few liquid souvenirs in the back of the car. 🙂

  • Mango season is coming; the trees are in flower. I can’t get rare breed pork but I can get pretty good free range stuff… Better stock up. And that way of slicing off a mango cheek and cutting it so it can be turned out is called ‘making a hedgehog’ and is a skill every Queenslander knows well 🙂

      • Now, can you tell me why your replies to my comments are not appearing any longer in my in box since your blog’s facelift? I have to come back here to find out what you’d said. Not a hardship, of course, but a puzzle…

  • I think you could be testing recipes for a food stall at the Notting Hill Carnival at the end of the month… This would be just the thing to restore weary carnival dancers 🙂

  • Conor! First of all I love the new site! Very clean and streamlined. where have I been? When did this happen? This pork chops look amazing! I love the idea of fruits and meat. Tonight I am taking the plunge with some chicken, peaches and plums… Wish me luck! 😉

  • love it – it looks amazing. Even though I am not a fan of pork chops reading this makes we want to try it. Completely with you on the wonderfulness of rarebreed, free range pork – better for us, better for the pig.

  • I usually pair mango salsa with shrimps, but I love this pairing with pork chops, which look so very perfectly cooked. Delicious! 🙂

  • You couldn’t very well call it a salsa without the chile in it! Lovely salsa indeed, though. And I have never heard of rare breed pigs, so it’s doubtful that I could ever find some fine chops like that over here. It looks like they are cooked to perfection!

      • Thank you Conor, but I still don’t know what rare breed pork is, lol! Is it just labeled that? We had some delicious 3/4-inch pork cuts tonight (my parents are visiting from Texas and she cooked them “her way”) but they were lovely pink in the middle and nice and moist, even if not the rare “rare breed” you mention. 🙂

          • Wow that is fascinating Conor! Thank you! I wonder if we have farms like that around here. If we want to eat good, ethical pork, this would be the way to go for sure. Thank you for supporting their industry. xoxo

  • As always, you make me laugh! Love your wit and your pork chop dish looks delicious!

  • Great looking porkchops . I make a similar mango salsa and love it with my tuna tacos. I have to try it with chops.

  • I’m not buying it, Conor. I know you said this lovely pork was rare, but the ability to carve up a mango just like that isn’t rare, it’s an absolute myth. If you keep showing off your knife skills in your posts to this extent I’ll get intimidated. For once could you show us mere mortals the benefit of a spoon?

  • Nice Presentation! Lovely!

  • Those are some beautiful chops, Conor, and one heckuva dish.

  • This looks great, Conor, and I like that you paired it with a white wine.
    (I almost missed this as it didn’t turn up either as an e-mail notification or in the WP app.)
    I like to sear the chops on the fatty side (‘standing up’) as well to get more flavor (and a bit less fat).
    You sure were lucky to find good mangos. Good pork I can get; my favorite is iberico from Spain but there is also a good local breed (relatively, 3 hours away) from the Dutch province of Limburg.

      • Recently our supermarket meat has slowly been improving. I still only use it in emergencies, i.e. when I’m out of meat and the supermarket is the only place still open. The interesting thing is that it is not the flavor or quality of the meat that is the reason for the improvement, but animal welfare activists.

  • You are so right that pork tends to be severely overlooked as well as severely overcooked. Have you tried pork chops sous-vide yet? 🙂
    Kees loves pork, so it is definitely not overlooked in my kitchen. Tonight we had pork neck cooked sous-vide with chiles and served with leeks and beans. Sunday we had pork fajitas and pork char siu is coming up too. (Yes, I bought a large chunk of pork neck and we are eating 5 days from it.)

  • I tried commenting on this the other day and I couldn’t. No idea why! But I love to dance and I love mango salsas. This would be a great dish for a gathering.

      • Something must have been up. Ah but the salsaing works off the salsa. 🙂

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