I caught one of the good meat cutters at the market the other night. I fussed at him about having found no good looking pork chops in the meat case for a while. I don’t like boneless center cuts, especially if they are thin enough to read through. I like my chops at least an inch thick, and on the bone.
Last night, I was delighted to find several packs of inch to inch-plus thick bone-in center cut chops. They were beautiful and I grabbed a pack of two 8 ouncers. and headed home to the grill. I decided top make the chops and sides “home” flavored.
I used Chef Vivian Howard’s Red Eye Coffee Rub on the chops. The rub includes brown sugar, ground coffee beans, coriander, cumin, garlic and a little New Mexico red chile. I let the rub sit on the chops while I worked on the sides. I zapped a couple of small white sweet potatoes which got buttered at the table. I minced a few garlic cloves and steamed them with torn mustard greens in a little chicken broth. I used a little salt and pepper and a couple of teaspoons of white vinegar on the greens when they were tender. The vinegar makes the greens less bitter. I then stirred in a can of rinsed cannellini beans. If you’ve read my blog before, you know I am really fond of beans and greens both as a side dish and in soups. I kept the sides warm while I worked on the pork chops.
I fired up the grill and let all four burners get it good and hot. I put the chops on one side and gave them a few minutes on each side to sear them and get some grill marks. After turning them once, I turned off the two burners under them, lowered the temp on the burner closest to them to half and left the fourth burner on high.
I rotated the chops a couple of times while the cooke on the “cool” side of the grill so they would cook evenly. After about 20 minutes, they reached an internal temperature of 135º, I took them off the grill, tented them and allowed them to rest for about 10 minutes. The rub darkened and caramelized while they cooked.
Many sources say cook pork to 145º. I’ve dropped mine down to 135º because they will continue to heat while they rest. The remain a pale pink and are juicer than when I cook them to the higher internal temperature.
I’ll be praising the meat cutter at the store and keeping my eye out for more of those lush thick chops!