Take a bite of Caribbean flavor with this super easy Jamaican Jerk Pork with Pineapple Pico De Gallo. Like a fiesta of flavor, this simple recipe is a great way to celebrate a healthy dinner.
Disclaimer: This post is created in partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board as part of the Pass the Pork Blogger Tour. All opinions and statements are my own, as always.
Hey guys! So, I visited a pig farm and lived to tell about it! Can you believe it? If you follow me on Instagram you may have caught a glimpse of me and my minute old piglet friend that was really…like a minute old. That little guy is probably about 50 pounds by now, they grow so fast, and he’s part of the Wakefield family farm. The Minnesota Pork Board and The Wakefield family was so kind to invite myself and several other bloggers to visit their farm as part of the Pass the Pork Blogger Tour, check out the pigs and learn everything I ever wanted to know (and more) about the pig farming business. So, if you love bacon…like I do…and like to know where your food comes from…like I do…then this is your kind of trip. I’ve been a big fan of pork and have been whipping up things like this braised beauty and these epically amazing ribs for years.…and I’m not going to stop anytime soon.
I won’t lie…this was one of the smelliest trips I’ve ever been invited to but it’s true when they say…you’ll get used to the smell. The first thing I’ll tell you about the Wakefield farm is they take their biosecurity measures VERY seriously. They like to keep their animals healthy and happy. They even have a person that comes to visit to make SURE the pigs are happy. And guess what else, every single person that goes through that door to visit the pigs has to take a shower….a full blown shower, head to toe, scrub the fingernails, remove the makeup, wash the hair…the whole deal. Then you suit up in a sanitary jumpsuit. And you thought my job was super glamourous. 🙂 The whole shower in (and shower out…yes, you do the same thing when you leave but then you put on your “dirty” clothes) process is to keep the pigs free from germs. I’d like to start this process at my house…I do feel a cold coming on since school started.
So, the Wakefield family is responsible for the breeding…and we saw how that was done. I’ll spare you the details. Then, they keep track of each and every single animal’s due date. AND they’re there for every single delivery of the cute, little, pink, curly tailed piglets. Every single one! It’s like one big happy family. We were even lucky enough to see a couple babies being born and it’s pretty miraculous if you ask me. This whole farm is run by people who really, genuinely care about every living creature there. From the owners to the workers to the animals, they know everyone by name and truly want the best for every single person there. It was amazing to just be a part of their business for the day.
Once the babies grow to a certain weight, they’re moved to another room until they grow big enough to be moved to another farm where they take care of the pigs (and keep them happy, of course!). Until the pigs grow big enough to go to market. The end. 🙂 That’s where my story ends. Not really, but we didn’t go to market….we went to lunch at the Wakefield family farm.
The “Man Cave” is where we spent the rest of the afternoon chowing down on some amazing barbecue and had even more time to chat with the other farmers that help the Wakefield family care for the pigs. I’m not kidding when I say it takes a village to raise pigs. Every single person in that room had a hand in the care and keeping of the animals. They even use a drone to monitors the fields where they grow the corn to feed the pigs. Technology is everywhere, my friends. After the farm tour, we had time to go back to the hotel, shower and rest up for dinner.
The next day was just as fabulous because we all got the chance to show off our cooking skills after a fabrication activity where we learned about all the various pork products and how to cook them best. It was so much fun to have the opportunity to cook with some of the bloggers I admired from afar for years.
I was assigned a recipe that, once I took a look at it, I knew I wanted to share it with all of you! This Jamaican Jerk Pork with Pineapple Pico De Gallo is crazy amazing, like a flavor bomb for your mouth. It’s bathed in a fiery marinade that’s whipped up in the blender. The Pico de Gallo is super simple and leftovers are fantastic with a big bowl of tortilla chips. Any way you spin it…this Jamaican Jerk Pork should be a weekly staple on your menu starting right now. For the cooking experience, we used a fresh cut of inside muscle…but I went a little practical and used a pork tenderloin for this adaptation. It’s much easier to find and lean….so this recipe is, also, super healthy!
- 1 pound pork tenderloin, butterflied (cut in half lengthwise)
- 8 green onions
- 8 garlic cloves
- 3 habaneros, seeds and stems removed
- 3 serrano chiles
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese 5 Spice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- 2 cups fresh cilantro
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molassses
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare grill.
- Place the tenderloin in a large zip top bag.
- Place green onion, garlic, habanero, serrano chile, onion, oil, soy sauce, 5 spice, lime juice, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoons pepper and 1 1/2 cups cilantro in a blender. Puree until smooth.
- Remove 1/4 cup of the marinade and reserve for the sauce. Pour the remaining marinade into the bag with the pork. Seal and marinate for 45 minutes.
- While the meat is marinading, toss together the tomatoes, pineapple, onion, chopped cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Remove the pork from the marinade and grill for 4-5 minutes. Flip the pork over and grill for an additional 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature is 140 degrees. Transfer to a platter and rest for 4-5 minutes.
- While the pork is resting, make the sauce. Add the reserved marinade, brown sugar, molasses and dark rum to a small saucepan over medium heat whisking to combine.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, turn down heat and simmer until reduces by 1/2 or the mixture is thick and syrupy.
- Slice the pork into 1/2 inch pieces across the grain and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with the pico de gallo, avocado and chopped cilantro, if desired.