Saturday, July 20, 2013

Grilled Honey Cider Glazed Pork Chops

I am on fire this grilling season! Well, not literally. That would be a bad thing. Although I did get pretty warm the last time I was out there...

I have so many ideas and my brain is getting overloaded with thoughts of meat and vegetables getting a nice char. From pork to chicken to steak, I've done them all already! They've all been great but these chops were the biggest hit with the boys so far. When first coming up with the recipe, I was trying to think of something slightly sweet. After reviewing some pantry items, I whipped up a little glaze.

Now, the key to good grilled pork is to brine it first. This locks in moisture and keeps your meat from getting dried out. Give it a brine and you're meat will be juicier and have a bit more flavor. It's a win/win. But pork is tricky so be careful and don't overcook it or you'll be eating cardboard. And that's not delicious.

In addition to the brine, adding something like a glaze will help take the meat to another level. It will form a nice crust and give just enough extra flavor to make it extra tasty. Having a sweet factor in the glaze will help bring on a little caramelization and, well, everyone loves the little crusty pieces on the outside, right? This glaze does just that, but in a subtle way. The ingredients and flavors were balanced very well and didn't overpower the pork, but acted as more of an accompaniment.

My son sat there and told me it was the best dinner he's ever had. So I just had to ask...

Is it better than chicken noodle soup? Yep.

Better than Mac N' Cheese? Yeah.

Even better than pepperoni pizza? Yeah!

Whoa. I guess it was pretty good.

Grilled Honey Cider Glazed Pork Chops


 6 boneless chops, cut 1" thick


 3 c water
 1/3 c kosher salt
 2 TB white sugar

 1/2 c honey
 3/4 c cider vinegar
 3 TB butter
 1/4 c packed brown sugar
 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch (Argo is gluten free)
 1/2 tsp salt
 1/2 tsp pepper
 1/4 tsp savory
 1/4 tsp herbs de province

1. Mix brine ingredients together and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Place chops in resealable bag and pour brine over. Squeeze out air, place in bowl or container, and refrigerate for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
2. Combine glaze ingredients in saucepan and cook until thickened.
3. Preheat grill over high heat for 15 minutes. Lower heat to medium-high and grease grates with oil. Place chops in indirect, cool part of grill, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes. Brush with glaze and move chops to direct heat. Cook until caramelized, about 1-2 minutes per side.

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