My Jamaican friend Coleen Porcher was over for the weekend. I am attracted to her big personality like a moth to a flame. She loves to laugh and live life to the fullest.
Coleen was on her way home on Sunday, but before she left, I told her I was going to make some jerk pork out of some boneless center cut pork chops for Monday night dinner. She gave me some general tips regarding the jerking of the pork, which followed Coleen's general approach to Jamaican cooking, whether it's Sunday Brown Stew chicken, Jamaican curry chicken posted here, or jerk chicken or pork.
Coleen heavily seasons the meat with spices and lets it sit overnight in the fridge with cut onion, scallions, garlic, and scotch bonnet or habanero peppers. To the jerked pork, she recommended I do a wet marinade by adding some oil, as well as a little bit of Pickapeppa sauce, a common condiment and flavoring agent in Jamaica. The prep took less than ten minutes.
A day later, I pulled the marinated pork out of the fridge and grilled them on a searing hot indoor griddle for about ten minutes. The aromas of allspice, onions, and jalapeno wafted through the house, accompanying the happy sizzles and pops of the grill. Juicy, flavorful, and with a little spiciness to excite the palate, these pork chops disappeared in a manner of minutes.
Serve with fried plantains, rice and beans, and a side of reggae music to be swept to Jamaica on a weeknight.
Before putting the pork in a Ziploc bag with some oil, onions, scallions, garlic, and chili peppers (jalapeno pictured here but scotch bonnets or habeneros are usually used), I rubbed each pork chop with a generous amount of jerk seasoning on each side (like one does when making a Cajun blackened pork), salt and pepper. Jamaican friend Coleen told me to put a little Pickapeppa sauce, so I did.
4 boneless center cut porkchops (add more if you like)
Penzeys jerk seasoning (or some other jerk seasoning; or you can mix a combination of equal portions thyme, all spice, and brown sugar)
Salt and pepper
1/2 large onion, cut into slices
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced without seeds (scotch bonnet or habanero peppers are more traditional and the more, the better; but my kids are still building up their heat tolerance, so I just used 1 jalapeno. You can of course use no or as much chili peppers as you want.)
2 scallions, sliced
Soy sauce (optional)
Heat an indoor grill pan (or teflon skillet) over medium-high heat. Take out pork, leaving excess marinade and vegetables in the bag for now. Sprinkle a little brown sugar (like you were sprinking a little salt) on the top of each pork chop, and using tongs, spread the brown sugar around (this is so the pork can caramelize a little). When the grill is heated until just smoking, place the pork chops, sugar side down and let sear for three minutes.
Turn over the pork chops, turn down heat to medium, and let cook 5-10 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 135 degrees. When you've turned over the pork chops, add the onions and jalapenos from the marinade and cook those until tender and browned (they should be cooked around the same time that the pork is done; remove earlier if cooked and cook longer than the pork if necessary). When done, remove the pork and veggies to a plate. Take 2 tsp. of soy sauce and drizzle over the pork chops, letting the soy sauce go over the pork chops and settle in with the rest of the pan juices.
Let pork rest for ten minutes. Temperature should go up to 145 to 150 degrees during the resting phase.
Serve with fried plantains and rice and beans. You can squirt lime juice on your pork if you like a little tanginess.