Guava-glazed Pork Chops with Homegrown Roasted Vegetables

Our guava season has ended, and what a season it was. For the first time ever, hardly a guava was stung by pests and we had more fruit than we knew what to do with. We’ve frozen bagfuls, and turned a terrific amount into jelly and syrup. For my guava jelly recipe click here, bearing in mind that if its syrup you’re after, cook the fruit for less time.

Guavas are another so-called “super fruit,” primarily because of their overabundance of vitamin C and fiber. It’s a recommended fruit for those following a low-glycemic load diet, like me, because its fructose is mitigated by the large amounts of fiber.

Ripening guavas on one of our trees.
Guavas ripening on one of our trees.
Preparing the guavas to be turned into syrup and jelly.
Guavas cut in half so they can be frozen for later use.
Pots and pots of guavas, all prepared to be turned into syrup and jelly.
Pots and pots of guavas, all prepared to be turned into syrup and jelly.
Softening the guavas on the stovetop, before straining them through a muslin cloth overnight.
Softening the fruit on the stovetop, before being hung and strained.
Straining the guava juice from the pulp bush-style!
Straining the guava juice from the pulp bush-style!

Here we eat guavas like apples because the skin is filled with goodness and nearly as tasty as the flesh. Fresh, guavas can always be found in our fruit salads, and once turned into jelly, are a great compliment to cheese, lamb and pork. Knowing this, I developed the recipe below confident that a syrup I’d made would meld well with Asian flavors like soya sauce, ginger, garlic and Thai basil. I wanted to develop this recipe using pork belly, but it’s been unavailable in Livingstone for awhile. Instead, I used locally-produced pork chops, and the combination of flavors, alongside a colorful array of homegrown roasted vegetables, worked perfectly.

Homegrown vegetables prepared for roasting.
Homegrown vegetables prepared for roasting.

Guava-glazed Pork Chops with Homegrown Roasted Vegetables

Yield: 2-4 servings

Notes: If you can’t find fresh guavas, canned will be a good substitute. Otherwise the juice of another tropical fruit like pineapple, or a wild hibiscus syrup, would work well with this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup guava syrup (click here for my guava jelly recipe, which is the same for the syrup, but with less cooking time)
  • 1 red onion, neatly chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, neatly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet sherry
  • 1 large handful Thai basil, chopped + 1 tablespoon and a sprig for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 pork chops

 

Fresh garden ingredients for the guava glaze.
Thai basil, fresh ginger and the guava syrup.
The pork chops prepared to be marinaded overnight.
The pork chops were marinaded overnight.

Method:

  1. Mix together all the listed ingredients, except the last two, in a medium bowl and divide in half (for the marinade and the glaze). Set aside and refrigerate one half in a sealed container to be used at a later stage.
  2. Put the pork chops and the remaining half of the marinade in a ziploc bag, making sure the chops are well covered. Leave in the refrigerator for at least four hours, or preferably overnight, turning the bag over from time-to-time.
  3. When ready to cook the pork chops, remove from the refrigerator and bring them down to room temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200/400 degrees. In a small bowl whisk together 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cut up vegetables of your choice into bite-sized pieces, making sure they are uniform in order to cook evenly. (I used what we had available in our garden at the time, which included beetroot, green and red okra, sweet potatoes, aubergines, onions and garlic, all mixed together with a handful of chopped fresh oregano.)
  5. Spread the vegetables out onto a baking tray, pour over the olive oil mixture, making sure everything is well-coated. Place on the middle rack in the oven, and cook until softened and browned, tossing the vegetables from time-to-time, about 40-45 minutes.
  6. Heat the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet, or heavy-based frying pan, over a high heat. Remove the chops from the marinade, and flash-fry them to seal the meat and brown the fat, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  7. Add the leftover marinade and the remaining half of the unused glaze to the skillet and bring to a roiling boil for about 3-5 minutes. Turn down the heat and simmer until the glaze has reduced by about a third, and thickened to a consistency that will coat the back of a spoon.
  8. Return the pork chops to the skillet and cook in the glaze for a further 4 minutes. Sprinkle freshly chopped Thai basil over the chops, and serve immediately on top of a pile of roasted vegetables.

 

Guava-glazed Pork Chops with Homegrown Roasted Vegetables.
Guava-glazed Pork Chops with Homegrown Roasted Vegetables.

Annabel Hughes is an award-winning chef and blogger, and the creator of "bush gourmet" cuisine.

18 Comments

  • Delicious photographs! I love guava jelly 🙂

    Reply
    • I do, too. Now that I have made so many different types of jellies, I rate guava right at the top … and it’s delicious with pork! Thank you, as always, for your interest and support.

      Reply
  • I miss guavas so much. Too cold here to grow them.
    This recipe looks delicious. I might have to try it using figs when they come on stream here.
    I used to bottle loads of guavas as well as making jam and jelly and one of my favourites – guava fool.
    Beautiful photos as always.

    No sign of the custard apple seeds guessing they went awol.

    Reply
    • Guavas are often so undervalued, and I just love them! I imagine this would be terrific with figs, Gillian, and certainly worth experimenting with. I’m afraid no sign YET of the custard apple seeds. But don’t lose heart. As I said, the mail has been known to take months! So much gratitude for sending them.

      Reply
  • Annabel – this is utterly incredible – you have covered three continents with your very simple recipe I shall follow soonest – fresh guavas methinks have aways to go in Eastern Australia [I may grow impatient and go to the ‘tins aisle’ I normally do not frequent] . . . but I SO can see this being a mind-blower – thanks !!

    Reply
    • Thank you very much for your super-kind comment, Eha! With the tinned guavas, my suggestion would be to blend them syrup and all, and then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. You might not get the clarity of a homemade syrup, but you will certainly have the flavor. Rosella syrup/jelly, which I know is available in Australia, would also work really well.

      Reply
  • Oh my! Once again you delight us with your just plain damn cleverness. You have so inspired me to look at our indigenous fruits in the Western Cape..the Kei apple and the Num Num in particular..to make jellies. (Well the idea is there)You might find it interesting that my friend here in Riebeek brought some guavas from her garden for us to eat after our ride yesterday and she said she had no fruit fly this year and a bumper crop. She thought it might be the marigolds she planted underneath them. Perhaps the drought? Lots of love xx

    Reply
    • I am so happy to read that you are looking more and more at your indigenous fruit, Hellie! It’s a diverse and generous world out there! And yes, it is interesting that your friend’s guava crop had a bumper crop with no fruit fly. We have never seen anything like it, and hoped it was the balanced biodiversity in our garden these days. Time will tell if this is just wishful thinking! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by … and lots of love back to you in beautiful Riebeek-Kasteel! xo

      Reply
  • The tress in the area are about to come into fruit. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Have a look at Neem Oil as a pesticide, very natural and can be used on many things.

    Reply
    • Thank you for stopping by my blog, Damien … and enjoy those fresh guavas! Ours are over now, although we do have bags and bags in the freezer. I have not tried Neem Oil, but am interested to read it’s a natural pesticide. I plant pyrethrum throughout my beds, as well as Sweet Annie wormwood, both of which seem to be doing a fine job in deterring bugs!

      Reply
  • Simply had not thought of rosella! Oh yes, very much available and some of it bought homemade from Farmers’ Markets might add a vey interesting flavour. Rosella is regarded as a kind’of ‘old-fashioned’ product here but I do remember liking the flavour: thanks!

    Reply
    • I use rosella A LOT, Eha. If you type the word into my blog’s search engine you will see the various recipes. We love it because it’s so, so healthy (and the calyxes are beautiful!).

      Reply
  • Deliciously gorgeous meal. I love the natural flavors to slightly sweeten and marinate the pork chops. It looks like you were blessed with many guavas this year and I can’t wait to see all the creative recipe you use them in. Sweet little Eha sent me your link and looking forward to keeping in touch. Take care, Bobbi

    Reply
    • Lovely to hear from you, Bobbi … and thank you for taking the time to read my blogpost. The glaze is indeed a wonderful combination of flavors, with the unique taste of the guava leading the way. Much gratitude for your kind comment. All the best to you, Annabel

      Reply
  • Brought my children up on guava fool! Wonderfully presented and created as per usual dear Annabel xx

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Helen. I remember well the bringing up of those lovely children! So hope you are all flourishing! xo

      Reply
  • Oh my! That is a lot of guavas!! Beautiful recipes !

    Reply

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