Friday, October 13, 2017

Grilled Thick Pork Chops with Apple and Apricot Sauce

One of the friends I have made through online BBQ contacts is Lee, over on the West coast.  He sent us a generous package of his homemade sauces, jams, and jellies a while back.  But I have been saving Lee's stuff for special recipes like these pork chops that I made earlier this week.

recipe for Thick Grilled Pork Chops with Apple and Apricot Sauce

I steal the technique and recipe idea from Chef Adam Perry Lang's BBQ 25 (great grilling resource for intermediate grillers wanting to up their game).  Shuttling the chops back and forth from the grates to a pan of goodness cooks layers of flavors onto the pork chops.  The sauce becomes a smoky, sweet syrup that makes the pork chop sing.  


Grilled Thick Pork Chops with Apple and Apricot Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 porterhouse pork chops, bone-in, 1" thick
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper (coarse ground Malabar, dustless)
  • 2 gala apples, cored, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 3 tablespoons sweet BBQ seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Instructions

  1. Set up your grill for direct heat and preheat your grill to 400°f.
  2. Season the pork chops all over, including the sides, with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix together the apples, BBQ seasoning, apricot jam, apple pie seasoning, butter, and stock in a pan. 
  4. Place the pan and the chops on the grill and grill the chops for 4 minutes a side.
  5. Then start shuttling the chops back and forth between the pan (flipping both sides in the sauce every time) and the grates. Have them in the pan for 1 minute (or so) and then on the grates for a minute (or so).  Do this until the chops reach an internal temperature of 140°f, about a total of 12-15 minutes from start.
  6. Remove the chops from the grill.  The liquid should be thickened to a light syrup consistency.  If so, let the chops rest in the sauce.  If not, rest the chops on a cooling rack and leave the pan on the grill simmering until thickened.
  7. Serve the pork chops with the sauce and 

Notes/Substitutions

  • Coarse Ground Malabar Black Pepper - We buy ours at Costco (Kirklands Coarse Malabar Black Pepper).  Nothing particular about the brand, just the type.  I like the dustless pepper like this because the grains are all very similarly sized and there isn't the fine stuff that seasons differently. 
  • Sweet BBQ Seasoning - We used John Henry Honey Lemon Pepper but you can use any BBQ seasoning that has a hefty amount of brown sugar in it would be good.  

Apples and pork are a winning combo.

Porterhouse pork chops are my favorite pork chop because they have a piece of the tenderloin and loin.  

I used Dalmatian rub (50/50 salt/pepper) on these but almost went with Lane's SPF53 to add a kick.

How to grill thick pork chops on a Big Green Egg kamado grill
The pan can be a half steam pan, a skillet, or stoneware big enough to fit on your grill and leave room for the chops.


Things will get a little smoky when the chops go from pan to flame, but shouldn't flame up on you too much.  

Starting with thick pork chops and using a moist cooking method keep the pork chops extra tender and juicy.

The sauce should be a light syrup (texture, not color) and it will cling to the pork chops at the end.

recipe for Thick Grilled Pork Chops with Apple and Apricot Sauce
Pork chops served with green beans and bacon.

recipe for Thick Grilled Pork Chops with Apple and Apricot Sauce or how to grill thick pork chops

This was fantastic, as is.  But next time, I will try a few things.

  • I will use a much finer dice of apples, APL grates his.  That or I'd go the opposite direction and use bigger slices of apples so they would be like a pile of "fried apples" on top of the chop.  
  • Another thing you can toy with is adding some bourbon or apple pie flavored moonshine in the sauce.  Maybe add an ounce to the sauce.

Upcoming Eggfests
Eggfests are food festivals where Big Green Egg enthusiasts get together to create their most creative dishes.  You can buy a taster ticket that allows you to sample all of these creations or enter your own cook team.  These are lots of fun and a great place to buy a discounted Big Green Egg used only for that event.
  • Scenic City Eggfest (Ooltewah, TN) 10/28/2017 - This is a last minute entry for us but we will be cooking in this event.  
  • River City Eggfest (Jacksonville, FL) 11/04/2017 - We can't cook this one this year but hope to next year.
  • Pensacola Eggfest (Pensacola, FL) 11/12/2017 - Located right on the waterfront in Blue Wahoos Stadium.  We'll be there cooking for the VIP party, judging the entries, and having a great time.
  • Chain of Lakes Eggfest (Winter Haven, FL) 2/24/2018 - This might be a first year event but I know it is going to rock.  We will be cooking this fest along with some of our best friends.
  • Sunshine State Eggfest (Vero Beach, FL) 04/28/2018 - Our team will be cooking in the event and there will be a special announcement about our involvement with the Friday night dinner.

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