Fancy dining is never a prerequisite for my style of uncommon travel. As noted on numerous previous occasions, I’m always more than happy to “settle” for the many wondrous street food delicacies found throughout the Caribbean, the better to stay mobile and open to new people and experiences.
During a recent extended weekend stay at Sugar Ridge Antigua, though, I felt compelled to change my usual eating habits. The reason: The Magical Mango Pork dish you see pictured above.
I’d heard tales of its greatness long before settling down for dinner at Carmichael’s Restaurant, the pinnacle of fine dining at Sugar Ridge, which, fittingly, can be found at the highest point of the hillside property. Gregory Williams, Carmichael’s wizardly young chef, claimed top honors in Antigua’s annual Mango Magic Culinary Competition with his recipe about a month before I checked in.
Just about everyone to whom I mentioned that I was staying at Sugar Ridge during my first full day of exploring around the island encouraged me to give Chef Gregory’s Mango Pork a try. It was all the rage, so of course, I could not say no. Once you try your hand at making it, I’m sure you’ll feel the same way too. Here’s the recipe…
Season pork loin and set aside. Peel and cube breadfruit and sweet potato. Season your cubes with salt and pepper, wrap them in foil and roast in the oven until a tooth pick can easily go through.
Next, peel and dice your eggplant and mango. Saute them in a pan, then set aside.
Now oil your pork loin and grill on each side for at least four-to-five minutes.
Lastly, combine your beef stock, red wine and pineapple in a pot an allow the combo to reduce and become infused by the pineapple. Strain stock before serving.
The pineapple sauce brings everything together beautifully, but for me, the mangoes are the real star of this show. As Chef Gregory explained to me after dinner, he used “belly-full” mangoes in crafting my plate, which tend to be more moist than other mango varieties. The added mango juiciness combined with the incredibly sweet and flavorful Antigua Black Pineapple was pure heaven.
At the same time, though, Chef Gregory insisted that the dish really sings with grafted Julie or kidney mangoes, but that flavor experience will have to wait for my next dinner at Carmichael’s, or my first attempt at this recipe.