Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Agave Mustard Grilled Pork Chops

Normally I like big, fat, thick pork chops.  Ones that are almost more of a roast, than a chop.   To me those are just as enjoyable as a nice steak.

But I also like those thin pork chops.  You know the ones that they sell in a hulking package labeled "assorted pork chops".  I like them because they are
  • cheap
  • marinate quickly, and
  • cook VERY fast.
I like to refer to these thin chops as "weeknight chops" because they are ideal on those nights when you are in a hurry and don't have time for a 4 hour brine and a two stage roast/sear type cook.  Just a quick marinade and slap these guys on a hot grill.  

Here is a version that we did tonight.  The flavor of agave nectar is kind of like honey but I like it better.  It has a hint of molasses or something smoky - perfect for grilling.  So these are similar to a honey-mustard grilled chop, only better.

Agave Mustard Grilled Pork Chops

  • 6 pork chops, bone in, thin cut (1/2" or less)
  • 1 oz red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 oz olive oil
  • pinch or two of salt
  1. Whisk together the vinegar, agave nectar, mustard, oregano, and black pepper.  Whisking vigorously, slowing pour in the olive oil.  Taste for seasoning and add pinch or two of salt as needed.
  2. Pour marinade over the chops and massage in to coat well.  Allow to marinade for 30-45 minutes.  You can let it marinade longer than that but it isn't necessary.
  3. Preheat a charcoal grill to 500f.
  4. Remove chops from the marinade and grill 2-3 minutes per side until the chops hit an internal temperature of 145f.   
  5. Allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes and then top with any accumulated juices.
These chops have all kind of irregular shapes but the one thing they have in common is that they are thin and quick cooking.

To go with our quick weeknight meal, we served these with Bush Grillin' Beans Sweet Mesquite flavor.  Normally, I like to pair sweet with heat but these black beans, onions and roasted red pepper simmered together was a great match for these sweet grilled chops.  The salad was just chopped romaine, green onion, Parmesan cheese and a mixed berry vinaigrette that I made.  

Since these chops are so thin, I like to plan on one and a half chops per person just to make sure we have enough.  If you don't eat them all, don't worry.  They make for great eating in the middle of the night when you are raiding your fridge.

[Standard Disclaimer]  I have a business relationship with Bush Beans but received no compensation for this post.


  1. The pork chop looks so succulent and tender!

  2. Nice. When I was a kid it seems the only chops my mother made were thin ones. Of course she over-cooked them but yours truly liked them just fine. I'll be checking out the chops at Giant today.

  3. Our grocery has those pork chops on sale frequently and I walk right by them because they're thin. You've give me inspiration Chris. And I happen to have a bottle of Agave on my shelf waiting for these chops.


  4. Great color on those thin chops.. that seems to be one of the most difficult things about that thin cut.. getting good color without over cooking them. Yep, I would eat them late at night right out of the fridge too!!

  5. I agree Chris, I like Agave Nectar better than Honey. And I like those thin pork chops...since they're they only ones I can cook. I still need to try that brine process on thick chops. We have a Mexican market that sells the thinest chops you've ever seen. We like those for breakfast. ok...I'm officially hungry. :)

  6. These sound delicious! My daughter uses Agave, but I haven't tried it yet. We are big on natural honey though so I know it would be a big hit. Buying me some bargain chops next time I go...

  7. The pork chops look delicious, Chris!

    Have you heard that next year there is going to be a pork shortage? It's been all over the news the past few days, and it's due to the drought this year. It sounds like we are going to be paying a lot more for our ribs, chops and bacon next year.

    Kim in MD

  8. Sometimes I think I like pork chops better than steaks. Or maybe it's a tie. Or maybe I just need both.

  9. I am a huge pork fan! I love thick and thin pork chops!They look amazing!

  10. This sounds great. One of my breakfast favorites for thin chops is to prepare and top with honey and sage. Nothing else. Give it a try!

  11. Love the clipboard recipe photo...creative. Great, quick cook.

  12. ...and that is no standard/random WalMart value package of chops either. If it is, your grocery has some special selections! Around here they would be pale, tan and unappetizing from that 'variety pack.'

  13. Fresh & Easy is a market here on the West coast, and they sell a decently priced maple agave blend. It is great in sauces and marinades. It'd be nice in this pork marinade too.

  14. Sounds delicious Chris - I may even have some agave nectar lurking somewhere. I didn't realize pork chops came in any size but thin until I left home plus mom always cooked them well done - so the crispy fat on the outside ended up being the best part.

  15. Love your ingredients photo - that clipboard is beautiful! The chops look tasty and delicious and so do those beans.

  16. gorgeous! i love those grill marks, and the flavors sound out of this world!

  17. This sounds excellent, Chris. I tried agave in a baked good last year and hated it so much, I haven't tried it since then. A friend recently mentioned that baking it changes the flavor a lot and that she loves cooking with it instead. You've inspired me to give it another chance.

  18. I steer clear of the thin guys (yes that's a innuendo). But you make the skinny guys looks cute. GREG

  19. Oh my word, Chris! Those steak look ridiculous good!

  20. Oh my word, Chris! Those steaks look ridiculous good!

  21. I made these last night in a grill pan on the stove (too cold to head over to the grill). Soooooo incredibly good!! Using a smoking hot pan on high temp, they needed about 1.5 minutes per side. Served with some sauteed bacon and sauerkraut and mashed cauliflower. Thanks so much for sharing this FANTASTIC recipe!!!


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