Saturday, October 8, 2016

Apple Maple Glazed Pork Chops

A great autumn recipe that is easy to prepare and with a flavorful, juicy result. If the weather is good, by all means grill the chops. If not, you can also cook them in the oven.

Grilled Apple Maple Chops with Balsamic Carrots and Peas
I marinate these chops with the rub for 2-4 hours, the longer time being for thicker pork chops. If you are pressed for time, you can skip the marination and just apply the rub a few minutes before you begin grilling.

I make two versions of these and give you both options below. They simply change up the spices used, and both are equally good. There is a small bit of heat in the seasoning, which pairs nicely with the sweet apple cider and maple syrup. It is by no means 'spicy' or 'hot'. If you want it that way, increase those spices.

I use hot chili oil (above) in this recipe, which is available wherever Chinese cooking spices are sold. If you can't find it, substitute regular olive oil combined with 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

2 Bone-in pork chops
1 Sweet apple, halved and cored

2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon chili powder
     or spicy curry powder or omit
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
1 Teaspoon salt
3-4 grinds of fresh black pepper
1 Tablespoon hot chili oil
    or olive oil with or without crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup apple cider or natural juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespooon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
pinch of salt


2-4 Hours in Advance of Dinner

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with a fork crushing any chunks of brown sugar. Add the chili oil to the spice mixture. It will make a crumbly paste. Dry the pork chops with paper towels, and then rub the spice mixture onto both sides. Place on a plate and cover so they are air tight with plastic wrap. Refrigerate.

1 Hour in Advance of Dinner
In a small saucepan, prepare the glaze by combining the apple cider, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt. Bring to a low boil uncovered. Reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Let the sauce reduce by about half to intensify the flavors (about 30 minutes).

30 Minutes in Advance of Dinner
Heat your grill to medium high heat (or preheat your oven to 400F degrees). Remove the chops from the refrigerator and put the spice covered pork chops on the hot grill (or in a dish in your oven). Brush with the cider glaze. Grill/bake for about 6 minutes. Turn the chops and brush with the glaze on the other side. Grill for about 2 more minutes, flip and brush again. Repeat this process until the pork chops are done and have an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees.

If you're also grilling the apple, brush the halved apple with glaze and grill for about 5-6 minutes cut side down on the grill.

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