I canned some homemade apple butter last fall and have quite a bit leftover. I love the stuff, but a person can only eat - and give out - so much. Homemade is really only at it's peak for about a year after it's canned so I really need to use it up. I know I still have a couple months, but one of the ideas I had is best with warm weather.
Over the past couple days I've been writing some recipes using apple butter as an ingredient. Of course, I can just eat it right out of the jar, but a little variation in life is always nice. One of the recipes I wrote was for this BBQ sauce. It has a little bit of tang, just the right amount of sweetness, and a tiny hint of the awesome apple butter spices. Since apples and pork go so well together, we grilled some chops to test out the sauce and it definitely hit the spot! We added a couple grilled zucchinis and some potato cakes to the party for one tasty dinner!
For the Pork Chops:
We were tight on time but I really wanted to brine the chops before grilling. A brine will keep meat nice and moist during (and after) the grilling. The salt in the mixture will break down the rough tendons of the meat and the sugar and vinegar will infuse lots of flavor. Since I didn't have time to do a traditional brine of boiling the salt and sugar in water, I just did a modified version of mixing everything together until all the crystals dissolved. It worked really well because our chops were small and boneless. If you're working with more meat though, the traditional method might work better.
1/2 c kosher salt (don't use table salt!)
1/4 c white sugar
2 TB brown sugar
5 c water
1 c cider vinegar
1. Mix all ingredients together in a large pot with a tight fitting lid until all the sugar and salt has dissolved.
2. Add your meat and refrigerate for about 1 1/2 hours - no more than 2 hours.
3. When it's time to grill, remove the chops from the pan and grill to your desired doneness. Baste with the Apple Butter BBQ Sauce the last few minutes of cooking.
Apple Butter BBQ Sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 small onion
1 TB olive oil
1 c apple butter
3/4 c ketchup
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp worcestershire
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c brown sugar
1. In saucepan, cook garlic and onion in oil over med-low heat for about two minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low for about 1/2 hour or until slightly thickened.