Saturday, January 23, 2010

Florentine Roast Pork Chops

The great thing about Friday nights is that you can eat dinner at 10:30pm and it doesn't matter.

It was okay, because while Alexis was out buying wine, I made a quick appetizer of spinach alfredo crostini so we weren't starving. Then while I prepped for dinner, she went upstairs and freshened up. She came back looking "date night cute", it was so worth the late start.

We bought a whole boneless pork loin last night. Normally I cut these up into 8-12 pork chops and a pork roast. I was going to make a florentine roast pork this weekend but I had the idea of converting that into florentine roast pork CHOPS on the Big Green Egg instead!

Florentine Roast Pork Chops

4 ea pork chops, 2" thick

1 cup apple juice
1 cup water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
12 ea peppercorns

Stuffing Mix
2 tablespoons rosemary, fresh chopped
2 tablespoons roasted garlic
1/4 cup spinach, fresh chopped
1/4 cup Boursin cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon rosemary, fresh chopped
1 teaspoon, black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup white wine

Mix the brine and soak the chops in the brine for 2-3 hours. Remove from brine, rinse and dry. You could skip this part, but you really don't want to. It yields a moist chop.

Using a very sharp knife, cut a deep slit into the side of each pork chop. You want to "almost" butterfly them.

Stuff each chop with a quarter of the stuffing mixture.

Season the outside of the chops with the rosemary, pepper, olive oil mixture.

Sear the chops on a grill over direct heat at 500f for a total time of 2 minutes, flipping every 3o seconds. Make sure to rotate the meat 1/4 turn to get criss crossed grill marks.

Remove chops to a preheated cast iron pan and splash with 3/4 cup wine. Reduce heat to 350f and return the pan into the grill on INDIRECT heat until the internal temps of the chops hit 145f.

Remove chops to plate and tent with foil to rest for 10 minutes.

Whisk the pan juices and pour over chops to serve.

Start with thick pork chops. I like hand trimming my own steaks, chops, and roasts because I get to control the thickness and it's substantially cheaper.

Yeah, I know Boursin is a French brand of Gournay cheese and doesn't have a lot to do with Florence. I don't care, I love the flavor and creamy texture it brings.

Stuff these "mini-roasts" with the stuffing mixture like tacos. Then I placed them flat and pressed down a little around the edges. I didn't bother toothpicking or tying them shut.

This one really doesn't have much to do with the cooking process, I just thought the spindles of the deck railing looked really cool in the top of the bottle.

Not too much of the cheese mixture melted out during the searing process. I know I sound like a broken record (that's a cd with a scratch to you youngin's), but I love the Craycourt cast iron grate for getting great sear marks.

Once you are at the roasting phase, it doesn't matter how much cheese drips out because it's dripping into the wine, which will be your sauce. Just more flavor at the party!

The first bite told me that this was worth every bit of effort. While I love a plain ol' grilled pork chop, this was excellent for something different.

You could also cook this inside by pan searing it and then roasting in the oven. But you don't get to play with fire.

It was a late dinner but we loved it. When is the latest time that you've eaten dinner that did NOT involve Krystals, Taco Bell, or IHOP?