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?


  1. Mmmmm. Brining makes everything better!
    Happy New Year!

  2. Wow! I don't think I've ever seen a pork crown roast in real life. What gorgeous pork chops you get!

  3. Looks great. I'm sure I over cook my pork and I need to "cool it down" some. I also need to work on my sauce skills. Maybe I will just copy the master.

  4. I like the Habanero too because it is bold and has so much flavor. It is not for the timid.

    I did not get the Egg this year.

    We have a very special Prime, Prime Rib roast this year. It is aged and we took a loan out of the bank to pay for it. We are cooking it in our Wolf oven. Not the Weber grill or WSM because we want the house to smell delioious and we want gravy that is not to skmoky.
    Happy New Year Bother. Someday we will share the Green Egg vibe.

  5. This looks amazing...I love pork chops and this one is really creative! Happy New Year!!!

  6. You'll be jealous, but I do not own a I have not seen a SINGLE holiday commercial this year! Mwahahaha.

    I've never heard quinoa described as having blech factor. But that chili sauce has definite sweet spicy YUM factor. Which is the best factor of all, I think.

  7. Instead of cutting it, you could have invited all of us over to ring in the new year with you Chris. (smile)

    Happy new year to you, Alexis and Trevor.
    Sam & Meakin

  8. oh fabulous! they look wonderful!

  9. You are so creative with your recipes - if you'd adopt Bev and I, it would be easier to deal with those big pieces of meat. Happy New Year to you Alexis and the boys and I look forward to another year of your Nibbles.

  10. LOL I am also not a fan of quinoa! I can't make it to save my life though. Tasty dinner here. Have a Happy New Year.

  11. Great looking chops..making something similar with Pistachio/Apricot Relish.

  12. Oh my goodness, that's a gorgeous chop. The sauce sounds amazing, as well. I thought I was finally rid of those horrid Lexus commercials...but I'm still seeing them. Grrrrr!

    Happy New Year to you and the fam =)

  13. Another great recipe that I can't wait to try! Thanks for posting - and have a Happy New Year!

  14. Happy New Year Chris!

    Please keep cooking your great dishes and sharing them with us.

    Pork is my dinner tonight!


  15. I guess none of them bothered me that much, but I did tell my husband I wanted that ring from Kay's and that Lexus. Didn't happen. Oh well... Happy New Year!! The chops look amazing - of course!

  16. Well those chops look wonderful in your usual "creative Chris style". And I do like the sound of that sauce! Glad to hear it wasn't too hot. You know me, I'm a habanero fraidy cat. I know there were some incredibly annoying commericals this season, but I'd have to single out Lexus. The ones with the folks getting a surprise Lexus for a gift. Just in such poor taste given the state of our economy and with so many not being able to provide for their families.

  17. What a great creative recipe, Chris! Sounds delicious to me. Pork roast is a must here New Years Day for good luck but wish I had seen this sooner. Thank goodness we won't be seeing that Geico commercial any more! Happy New Year!

  18. "Blech?" Now that's a word that requires one to say it out loud...pushing her tongue out of her pie hole at the same time to get the total effect of the word Blech. Those chops are anything but blech! And commercials...are you kidding me?!? People don't like Holiday commercials?!?! I LOVE them! How else would I even know about Kay's Open Heart Diamond Necklace and get a chance to see Jane Seymour's excellent plastic surgery work?!? I LIVE for holiday commercials...they are blechin' festive!

  19. I grew up in Iowa, home of the pork chop on a stick, so I love this recipe! I have been so busy, I haven't had a chane to see many commercials.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  20. My mouth is watering! These chops look and sound awesome.

  21. Oh goodie someone besides me who doesn't get quinoa (though I love farro, go figure). GREG

  22. Great looking chops! Bet that sauce just put them over the top.

    Happy new year!

  23. Happy Holidays to you Chris and your family! Honestly, l love the holidays but, I am glad they are over. I am over fed and exhausted.

    These are some fine looking pork chops. The sauces rock too.

  24. I for one am so very thankful that I will not have to hear the local Fox 10 news commercials anymore. Good gravy, after 16 years you'd think they would change the dang song!!!! :)

    The pork looks amazing and the sauce... oh, yes, you know I'll be trying the sauce! YUM!!!

  25. Yum. I did my traditional pork roast and kraut.

  26. Another tasty pork recipe. Loving the two chili sauce.

  27. Never cooked a crown roast... I'm intimidated a bit! Man your pork chops look amazing. I love bone-in chops. Great recipe!

  28. Those pork chops look utterly beyond amazing! One reason never to convert, even though the bubbes at the synagogue I work at keep asking when I'm going to - no going kosher, nope!


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