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Peasant Food, Pork

Jim’s Garlic Pork Loin Steaks

This was supposed to be something completely different, until I realised I had the wrong ingredients in the house, read on and see how easily you can avert a disaster with a quick Google search and a bit of creativity.

Pernil is a Puerto Rican dish that is usually a slow roasted joint of pork that before cooking is smothered in a garlic marinade. I only had pork loin steaks in the fridge because my original plan was to cook Lomo Adobado. The problem being that when I continued to search the fridge I found a distinct lack of white wine – well it is the holiday season isn’t it?

I had all the other ingredients for Lomo Adobado so I set about on a Google search and came across this recipe on the Eating Well website. I took the recipe for the marinade and set about creating a dish…


  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3 pork loin steaks

Method of Preparation:

  1. Combine garlic, oil, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper in a food processor (or blender) and purée.
  2. Place the loin steaks in a sandwich bag, add the marinade, mix it all together really well and pop it in the fridge. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 day.
  3. Preheat the oven to 240°C
  4. Heat a heavy based pan (or skillet) over a medium high heat and then add the pork steaks cooking on each side for about 4 minutes or until you’re happy with the caramelisation on the steaks.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another 8 minutes then remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving them up as you wish.

Let me explain a few things. The oven was at 240°C anyway as I’d already decided I was going to serve this dish with some McCain Oven Fries. I used my Le Creuset skillet so once I had some really good bar marks on the steaks I cut into one and saw it was still raw in the centre. The option that remained was to get it in the oven with the chips and I’m really glad I did.

Pork & Chips - only excellent!

Pork & Chips – only excellent!

The result was succulent pork steaks with a lovely garlic flavour that dances around your mouth alongside the smoked paprika and oregano notes. I was really impressed with this especially as I kind of made it up as I went and I will be giving the roasted version of this recipe a go – I’ll let you know how I got on.

The moral of this story is “Keep Calm & Carry On”, if you’ve got good ingredients you can make a great dish, you just might have to look for a suitable starting point.


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