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.
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.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. 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.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. 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. 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. Place the skillet in a 200ºC (400ºF) oven for ten minutes. Take the chops out and let them rest on a warm plate. 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. Serve the chops with the salsa and a little of the highly concentrated, highly flavoursome gravy. 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.