Photo by Quentin Bacon, Food Styling by Suzanne Lenzer and Prop Styling by Maeve Sheridan
I am always in for the big flavors of Jamaican Jerk seasoning with its lively heat that’s grounded with warming spices and lots of thyme. In this recipe, juicy, but lean, pork loin is treated to a Jerk marinade, then roasted and served with a cooling mango-cucumber salsa. The pork can be marinated up to two days ahead, or even frozen in the marinade, so the day-of cooking is super easy.
Jerk Pork Loin with Mango Cucumber Salsa
1 small onion, roughly chopped
⅓ cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as avocado or canola
8 cloves garlic
1 medium jalapeno pepper, top trimmed, with seeds
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 2-pound pork loin
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
1 recipe Mango Cucumber Salsa, recipe follows
Place the onion, vinegar oil, garlic, hot pepper, thyme, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and black pepper into a food processor and process until smooth.
Place the pork into a large (2 gallon) sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade and bay leaf, toss to coat and seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 36-48 hours when ready to cook.
To serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain the liquid from the bag, maintaining any marinade solids but discarding bay leaf. Transfer the pork to a roasting pan and rub solids and the salt onto the surface of the pork. Roast until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees for medium rare, about 45 minutes, 160 degrees for medium, about 1 hour.
Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing into ¼ inch thick slices. Serve with the Mango Salsa.
Makes 6 serving
Serving size: 3-4 slices
Per serving: Calories 260; Total Fat 10g (Mono Fat 5.7g, Poly Fat 2.6g, Sat Fat 1.6g); Protein 33g; Carb 9g; Fiber 1g; Cholesterol 100mg; Sodium 370mg
Excellent Source of: Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Riboflavin, Selenium, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Zinc
Good Source of: Copper, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K
Mango Cucumber Salsa
1 cup finely diced mango
1 cup finely diced, seeded, English cucumber
3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
Fresh lime juice to taste, optional
In a medium bowl, toss the mango, cucumber, onion, lime juice, salt and pepper together to combine. Salsa may be made ahead at this stage. Toss the cilantro leaves in and additional lime juice to taste, right before serving.
Makes 6 servings
Serving size: ⅓ cup
Per serving: Calories 25; Total Fat 0g (Mono Fat 0g, Poly Fat 0g, Sat Fat 0g); Protein 0g; Carb 6g; Fiber 1g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 100mg
Excellent Source of: Vitamin C
Good Source of: n/a