|Bone-in pork loin chops, first marinated in a brown sugar, vinegar and soy marinade, then grilled and brushed with a pepper jelly glaze to finish. Shown here with my chargrilled corn and grilled veggies.|
Grilled Pork Chop with Pepper Jelly GlazeEverybody around the country who gets snow in the winter waits for the summer ritual of opening up their patio grill, but we grill all year round in the Deep South and honestly, summers here are really our least favorite time for grilling. Oh we do it, but it's hotter than hot, and not super pleasant.
Now that I have a nice, shady covered patio with a ceiling fan though, it's made a huge difference, and I have sure been working my grills around here! I think I've grilled more this last year than I did in years at my old house. Grilling is fast, easy and doesn't heat up the kitchen - which is a bonus in this summer heat. I've even baked on my Traeger pellet grill instead of using my oven! But... for me, there is one issue.
Grilling can also be a little boring after some time, at least for me. Throw a piece of meat on the grill with little else and The Cajun is perfectly happy, and while I love the taste of smoke cooked or grill seared meats, my palate is just a tad bit more adventurous. But, I have a little secret!
One of my secrets to making grilled meats more fabulous is pepper jelly. It makes a terrific finishing glaze that adds a bump of heat and boost of flavor that can really transform any pan seared, baked or grilled meats. Typically pepper jelly is made with a simple mixture of jalapeno and sweet peppers and it's sure good. We love it down here simply spooned over a block of softened cream cheese and served up with crackers, and you'll find that at just about any kind of gathering here in the south. There's just something about that savory and sweet with a hit of heat that is so delicious.
I had the opportunity recently to try some rather different varieties of pepper jelly from a company called Mrs. G's. I'll have more to share about that in my next post, but let me just say, with blends like Jalapeno Garlic Lime, Mango Ginger Habanero, Peach Habanero and Ja-Ha, this ain't your mama's pepper jelly y'all!
While you could get away with boneless chops for this, I really want you to try the recipe with bone-in and make them at least 1/2-inch or thicker. We're doing a marinade here that's a little bit of a brine too, which means that so long as you don't cook your chops to death, they will be flavorful and tender, and not dry.
Again, I'm gonna preach the use of an instant read thermometer to help with that too. They don't cost that much, but meat sure does these days, and a thermometer will save you from ruining that dinner you've worked so hard on. I don't cook any meat without one now, especially pork and chicken breast, because they are so lean. Just get one and use it!
All that makes for a moist, tender and delicious chop, but, the glaze is fabulous! I mix it up with a little hot sauce and Italian dressing, in the way of my Bottom of Jar Gooey Baked Chicken. You can use your own version of homemade dressing or a bottle dressing - whatever you usually use and keep around. It's a great finish,
I can't wait to tell you more about these amazing, artisan, hot pepper jelly products from Mrs. G's, but for now, here's how I make these delicious, grilled pork chops!
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Recipe: Grilled Pork Chop with Pepper Jelly Glaze©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Cook time: 12 min |Inactive time: Overnight | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings
For the Marinade:
- 6 to 8 (1/2-inch) bone-in pork loin chops (about 3 ounces each)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet, optional
- 2 tablespoons Creole mustard
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup pepper jelly
- 1/4 cup Italian dressing
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large zippered bag or glass bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients until well blended. Add pork chops, seal or cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours, overnight is even better. Drain chops and pat dry; discard marinade.
Whisk together the pepper jelly, Italian dressing and hot sauce. Preheat grill to 400 degrees F. Set aside several tablespoons of the glaze to serve at the table. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and brush with glaze.
Grill 5 to 6 minutes per side at 400 degrees F or until chop reaches internal temperature of 145 degrees F, basting every few minutes with glaze. Let rest 5 minutes before serving and brush with reserved glaze, or offer at the table.
Cook's Notes: Actual cooking time will be dependent on the size and thickness of the chops as well as the temperature maintained on the grill. To check, remove one of the larger chops, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest section sideways. You are looking for 145 degrees F.
Stovetop: Marinate as above; remove and pat dry, discarding marinade. Season chops and brown in melted butter over medium high heat for about 5 minutes per side; longer if thicker than 1/2 inch. Remove and set aside. Add 1/2 tablespoon of flour and stir in for two minutes. Deglaze pan with 1 cup of chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and whisk in pepper jelly, Italian dressing and hot sauce. Cook until mixture is thickened, then return pork chops, turning to coat, until warmed through.
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©Deep South Dish
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