Friday, December 30, 2011

Grilled Pork Chops with Two Chili Sweet Sauce

 Wow, it's hard to believe that the holiday season is almost behind us.  There are so many great memories to cherish and you kind of hate to see the season pass by.  But to be honest, I think many of us are thinking the same thing....."GREAT!  I don't have to watch that stupid [ENTER YOUR MOST HATED HOLIDAY TV COMMERCIAL HERE] spot again!"

Speaking of holidays, I had this big hunk of pork crown roast for New Year's and realized there was no way my little family of four could eat it all.

So I cut it down into 4 kick butt, nice and thick, bone in rib chops and a smaller roast that we're saving for New Year's Day.

Here's what I did with the pork chops after a quick 1 1/2 hour brine in apple juice, water, salt, fennel and pepper.  A brine does many great things for lean pork...but in this case the best thing was it gave me 90 minutes to figure out how I was going to cook it!  Here's what I came up with.

Served with cilantro quinoa (ick) and Black Bean Fiesta (yum).
The Two Chili Sweet Sauce really surprised me because I thought it might be a little too spicy hot and I have the higher heat tolerances in the family.  But Brett didn't think it was and Alexis loved it, using more on her quinoa to cover up the blech factor of that dish.

Grilled Pork Chops with Two Chili Sweet Sauce

Serves:  4 hungry people

  • 4 ea pork chops, bone in, 1" thick
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
For the sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 ea shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp habanero chili, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp roasted sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup red pepper jelly
  • slurry (2 Tbsp cold water, 1 Tbsp corn starch whisked together)
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  1. Preheat charcoal grill to 450f set up for both direct and indirect cooking.  Have your hot coals on one side (direct) and nothing on the other side (indirect).  I was using my Smoke Hollow Smoker/Grill combo and used about 3 quarts of Kingsford briquettes with hickory for a little smoke flavor.
  2. Pat pork chops dry and season all sides with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  (Not "both" sides, ALL sides)
  3. Grill chops over the direct heat for 4 minutes per side.  
  4. Reduce heat (shut down your grill's air intake vents) and move chops to indirect heat. Roast until the chops reach an internal temperature of 135-137f degrees.  This took ours roughly 15 minutes but go by temps, not times.
  5. Remove pork chops from grill and rest on a rack raised over a plate.
  6. Preheat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add butter.
  7. Saute shallot and garlic for two minutes.
  8. Add the habanero and red pepper and saute another minute.
  9. Deglaze the pan with sherry and let almost evaporate away (1-2 minutes)
  10. Add the chicken broth and simmer until reduced in volume by half.  Taste for seasoning and add salt/pepper as needed.  I did a pinch of salt and about 6 twists with a pepper grinder.
  11. Whisk in the jelly and the slurry.  Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon when dragged through the sauce.
  12. Plate the chops and drizzle the Two Chili Sweet Sauce over them.
  •  I had some scraps from trimming the pork roast into chops and seared the scraps in the saute pan first to get some sucs (French for "brown stuff stuck on the pan") before sauteing the veggies.  
  • The final target internal temp AFTER resting is 145f.
  • If you like more heat, double the habanero.  If you don't like heat, drop the habanero and use something milder like jalapeno, chipotle, or poblano. 
Don't forget to season the sides too.
Tomahawk pork chops!
I like the habanero not only for it's heat but it also brings a zesty citrus flavor.

I know I probably shouldn't ask this because your answer will remind me of how bad that commercial is, but what is the holiday commercial you'll be so glad to see disappear?