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BBQ My Way: Spicy Maple Glazed Pork Chops
Dave Lobeck, www.BBQ-My-Way.com
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If you have been a reader of this column for some time, you probably have noticed my enthusiasm for “the other white meat,” pork. Don’t get me wrong. If I had to pick my last meal, and my choices were a beautifully marbled bone-in rib-eye or a thick, bone-in pork chop, I would have to go with the steak. But, if prepared properly with good spices and flavorings, a bone-in pork chop is a very close second. And, if you factor in the cost savings, the bone-in chop might win out: $3.50 per pound versus $11 per pound. But in this scenario it was my last meal, so what the heck?
The biggest mistake I see when people buy pork chops at the store is they buy them too thin and without the bone. From a preparation standpoint they are typically overcooked or over-grilled, resulting in a dry piece of meat. Do me a favor. Call the butcher and have them cut you some bone-in pork chops that are a full 1 1/2 inch thick. We are preparing substantial pork steaks, and you will love them. And why leave the bone? Two reasons. I think the bone-in cut is visually more appealing when served. Secondly, some of the best meat is near the bone.
This recipe will handle four large pork chops.
SPICY MAPLE GLAZE
1 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons spicy Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside. Get out your chops and let them come to room temperature. Season both sides with coarsely ground black pepper and granulated garlic. You do not need to add salt, as the soy sauce has plenty of salt. And you can always add salt at the table.
Start your grill set up with indirect heat, whether using charcoal or gas. This simply means one area of your grill does not have a heat source directly below it.
Brush the chops with the glaze and set them on the side of the grill without direct heat. We do this because the chops are thick, and if you grilled them over direct heat, the surface of the chops and the glaze would burn before the internal temperature of the chop reached the correct level. Close the lid and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes. You have basically turned your grill into an oven.
Spread another layer of glaze and place the chops over direct heat. We are now going to create the texture and caramelize the glaze. Turn the chops frequently and apply the glaze each time you turn them. Your chops are done when the internal temperature (not near the bone) reaches 140 degrees. Once you pull the chops the internal temperature will rise by another 5 to 7 degrees. Allow the chops to rest 10 minutes or so before serving.
These chops are awesome. Sweet, spicy with great texture.