Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Chuletas de Puerco Cubanas (Cuban Pork Chops)

In my house we really have no name for this dish it's simply "Chuletas de Puerco" which means "Pork Chops" which can be prepared a number of ways but we usually make it the Cuban way or more exactly my grandmas way. These are seasoned with cumin, salt, garlic, and freshly squeezed lime juice then pan-fried in olive oil and in the drippings we sautee tons of onions until cooked to eat on the side or over the chops this is called "Encebollado" which means in onions, smothered in onions or with onions.

In my household we almost always sautee a bunch of onions after pan-frying or cooking meats by browning and cooking until done in a pan, we will always sautee onions in the drippings, I guess we are just onion lovers.

-4 pork chops (or more depends how many your feeding and peoples appetite)
-4-5 cloves of garlic, mashed to a paste with a mortar or in a garlic press (it's about 1 clove or 2 per chop)
-juice of 1-2 limes or 1 1/2 limes
-1 teaspoon of ground cumin (more to taste or less cuban food is heavy on cumin)
-salt to taste 1-2 teaspoons of salt
-extra-virgin olive oil to pan-fry
-1 1/2 really large onions or 3 medium ones or 4 small ones julienned (optional)
-juice of 1 more lime (for onions)

Rub meat with mashed garlic, salt, cumin, and lime juice (I simply mash everything in the mortar add lime there then mix well and rub all over meat, my grandma just rubs everything on individually in no particular order)
(2)Heat oil on medium high in a large pan, when oil is hot enough (you can test it with a wooden spoon if it bubbles around it it's ready) now add pork chops and cook on each side 10-15 minutes until browned so a total of 20-30. Some of the garlic will kinda burn but that is okay for this dish.
(3)Now set aside, in pan if you have to much oil you may pour some out if not well now add your onions, salt them well, sautee until caramelized and has no raw taste and picking up drippings, deglaze with lime juice while sauteeing.
(4)Turn of heat and place chops over the onions, or push them aside and set the chops next to them.
(5)To serve, simply put onions next or over chops on your plate. Serve with a nice raw salad or fried plantains and rice with beans or just rice.