November 15, 2010

Perfect Pork Chops

My Grandma makes really yummy pork chops, I remember them from when I was very little. They featured catsup and a slice of lemon on top. This recipe is far from my childhood pork chop dinners. It comes from Alton Brown's recipe, and it features a coffee and molasses marinade (brine). The brining process brings out the flavor, and ensures the chops will not dry out. These pork chops served with the au jus from the marinade, and homemade applesauce, is simply divine. The chops and sauce are amazing on their own, but together they equal more than the sum of their parts. If you're looking for an alternative to a standard chicken dish, this is a simple yet delicious option.

What's in it
2 pork chops (1 inch thick)
1/4 C molasses
1 C strong coffee, cooled (pour through grinds twice)
2 T apple cider vinegar
dash of dijon mustard
dash of freshly ground pepper
1 tsp salt
couple sprigs of fresh thyme, or pinch of dried
2 cloves of garlic, minced
dash of ground ginger

How it's made
Place all ingredients together in a re-sealable bag or ceramic baking dish with lid, and marinade overnight or at least 2 hours. Be sure liquid covers the meat.
After the initial marinade, this dish comes together quickly, so first take time to get the applesauce simmering, and any other side dishes you might want to serve.
When you are ready, about 20-30 minutes before eating time, place the chops on a plate, and pour the liquid into a small stock pot. Simmer the marinade on very low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/4 C liquid. Keep an eye so it doesn't boil over.

After the marinade starts simmering, fire up your cast iron grill (or George Foreman or outdoor grill) and preheat. Be sure to coat with oil. Once the grill is heated, cook the chops for about 5 minutes on each side (don't move them around unless you want fancy marks). Chops are done when internal temperature registers 145 degrees. Finish in the oven for a couple minutes if necessary. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Take time to strain the marinade reduction, and mash the apples for the sauce.

Serve chops with reduction and applesauce on the side. Enjoy with a glass of Navarro Dry Gewurztraminer. We had Butternut Squash Soup as a first dish, using apples in the soup as well, and it was a delicious prelude to the main dish.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa! I've never had pork chops like that! Fancy dinner. I am quite impressed. Everything looks so good!


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