Sour orange and garlic serve as the base of our mojo marinade. It gives our cubed pork-chop kebabs a nice, hot tang that gets a bit of contrast by way of sweet and fruity mangos.
Why this recipe works:
- Brining the pork chops adds extra moisture to the meat, helping ensure they stay juicy on the grill.
- The sour orange mojo sauce gives a bright, tangy flavor to the pork that also has a garlicky bite.
- Mango adds a contrasting sweetness to the acidic mojo sauce.
- The slightly firm mangos called for here will be firm enough to stay on a skewer, unlike soft fully ripe ones, which would likely fall off.
- For the Brined Pork:
- 2 quarts ice-cold water
- 1/3 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 pounds center-cut pork chops, 1 1/2 inches thick each
- For the Mojo Marinade:
- 2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic (about 6 medium cloves)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/2 cup fresh sour orange juice, or 1/4 cup lime juice mixed with 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the Skewers:
- 2 whole mangos, slightly underripe, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
- Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use
- Type of fire: Direct
- Grill heat: medium-high
For the Brine: In a large bowl, whisk together water, salt, and sugar until solids are dissolved. Place pork chops in brine and refrigerate at least 30 and up to 60 minutes.
For the Marinade: Place garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add the 1/2 teaspoon salt and work into a smooth paste. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, sour orange juice, oil, oregano, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
For the Skewers: Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry. Cut pork into 1 1/2-inch cubes, trimming any large pieces of excess fat and discarding bones. Place pork cubes in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in marinade and seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in refrigerator and marinate for at least 1 and up to 5 hours.
Thread pork onto skewers, alternating with mango cubes.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill skewers until well browned on all sides and center of pork registers between 140-145°F on an instant-read thermometer, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer skewers to platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.