These chops were so delicious for dinner last night, thick, juicy and delightfully seasoned. Of course, you can't go wrong with cheesy mashed potatoes and to top it all off, I added a hefty dollop of smoked onion jam.
I did something different with these bone-loin chops. First I dry brined them and then after grilling I treated them sort of like Memphis-style dry-rubbed ribs. This is a "free cook," where I'm just cooking for the enjoyment so I won't lay out a full detailed recipe here.
I used the dry-brine technique on the pork chops to create flavor and retain moisture during the cooking process. The dry-brine method is applying a salty rub to meat and letting it rest, refrigerated, for a while. At first, the salt draws out moisture from the meat but then as the concentrations change, diffusion pulls the now seasoned moisture back into the meat. There's more to it than that, but that's the gist of it.
|I applied the dry brine before I left for work in the morning, so it had 9 hours to work its magic.
NMT Quick Pork Chop Dry Brinemakes enough for 2 pork chops
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix ingredients together.
- Wipe pork chops dry and apply a light coat of high temperature cooking oil. Season on all sides with the dry brine mix. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
|When I dry brine, I prefer to leave the meat on a resting rack instead of laying it flat on a plate. This allows air circulation and gives the same conditions on the bottom that you have around the rest of the meat.
|These chops were thick, but not super-thick, so I debated between doing a reverse-sear or direct grilling. In the end, I went with direct grilling at 400°f because I was hungry now.
|I grilled the chops on a large Big Green Egg. You can't miss the unique pattern of the Craycort cast iron grates there. After each flip, I'd spritz the top with some quality apple juice.
|Speaking of spritzing, let's talk spray bottles. We used to buy the plastic ones, but the spray mechanism would crap out after a few months. We bought this metal (my guess is aluminum) one last year at a grocery store in town, and this thing has held up like no other. It's made by Bradshaw International and says www.goodcook.com on the label but the only place I can find it online is here. The label is a complete PITA to remove, I just soaked mine for a day.
|As the name implies, NMT Southern Sweet is a sweet traditional BBQ rub. It is from my new book, The Offset Smoker Cookbook (Ulysses Press), and it is one of my favorite general-purpose BBQ rubs. If you don't feel like making it, use a commercial rub that is fine and sweet - something like Meat Church Honey Hog, Meat Church Deez Nuts, or KosmoQ's Killer Bee Honey Rub.
For the mashed potatoes, we peeled and cubed about 1 1/2 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes and boiled them until fork tender. We drained them and then mashed them by hand and added in shredded fontina cheese, butter, cream, white pepper, and kosher salt to taste.
We used Blackberry Farm's Smoked Onion Jam. Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN, is world renown and frequently featured in travel/culinary publications for their food, wine, and hospitality. I just happened to find their Smoked Onion Jam at a store in town, and it is amazingly good. Sweet and smoky, it is a fantastic condiment with grilled meats, biscuits, grilled cheese, or a flip flop.
|Alexis and I both ate every bit of our meal, the flavors were perfect together.