Caribbean Inspired Pork Skewers Wednesday, September 11, 2013
1 lb pork loin or pork spareribs, cubed (in my region they’re often sold as ‘country style spareribs’ – and they’re relatively lean)
1 bell pepper, large cubes and blanched, any color
1 red onion, cut into cubes
a handful or two of cherry tomatoes – however many your garden
produces, or about half a package. Whole tomatoes cut into
wedges then halved work well too
4 oz crimini mushrooms (button mushrooms work well too)
For the marinade/sauce:
1 – 20 oz can of pineapple cubes, with the juice
4 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl black vinegar
2 tbl mirin
2 cloves garlic, minced
a pinch of salt, to taste, if needed
1 tbl of chipoltle in adobo, minced – optional
Mix the ingredients for the marinade well. Divide it in half. (Include the pineapple chunks in both the marinade and the sauce as well.) Place half the marinade in a container and add the cubed pork. Toss well, and refrigerate for at least an hour, and preferably four to six hours. Set the remaining marinade in a separate container. You’ll simmer this down to make a dipping sauce.
Place 6-8 wooden skewers in warm water to soak – this helps keep them from catching fire. Alternately you can use stainless steel skewers. When you’re ready to go, either preheat your grill or start your broiler. Remove the pork and pineapple chunks from the marinade, and discard the marinade that was used with the raw pork. Place the fresh marinade in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, and allow it to cook very gently while you’re prepping the rest of your ingredients.
Alternate the pork, pineapple chunks, red onion, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and bell peppers on the skewers. If you get to the end of your skewering, toss any leftover vegetables into the sauce – especially the red onion and pineapple. The sauce will love you for it. Once you’ve assembled your skewers, grill them over medium high heat for approximately ten minutes, turning just once halfway through. You’re looking for just the edges of the skewered ingredients to begin to caramelize, and for the pork to take on a lovely, golden brown. This can also be done under a broiler on high. Place the grilled skewers on a platter and allow to rest for five minutes.
Taste the sauce, and add a touch of salt if necessary. Strain the simmered dipping sauce into a serving bowl, and serve with the skewers. This dish also is amazing with black beans and rice.