It is AMAZING what happens when you (kinda) follow directions!
I first tried this recipe last year – and we liked it – but I hadn’t REALLY followed the recipe. I used the mopping sauce as an overnight marinade and cooked the chops on the indoor grill.
THIS year, I tossed the chops in a spiced buttermilk bath overnight, made the sauce and allowed IT to rest overnight, then introduced the chops to the sauce on the Weber.
To begin, let’s talk timing and buttermilk.
You DO need to plan at least an overnight into this recipe – for the flavors in the sauce to blend well, and for the buttermilk to properly work its magic.
I have an all-purpose buttermilk marinade I like to use on chicken and pork chops before I toss ‘em on the grill. The buttermilk adds a slight tang to the meat, and keeps it from drying out in cooking. This time, since the chops were going to be grilled with such a flavor-packed sauce, I kept the buttermilk seasonings to a minimum:
•2 cups buttermilk OR, two tbsp fresh (preferred) lemon juice topped off with 2 cups milk and allowed to sit for five minutes.
•2 tbsp maple syrup
•1 tsp (or so) dried chives, or, fresh from teh garden is nice, too – maybe add more
•3 tbsp maple syrup
•2 tbsp oil (canola is fine)
•1/4 cup cider vinegar
•1 cup water
•2-1/2 tsp salt
•2 tsp pepper
•1/2 tsp cayenne
•1 tsp dry mustard
•2 tsp chili powder – I use my own blend, but feel free to raid your cupboard
•1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp 21 Seasoning Salute (or any salt-free blend you like)
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
•1 tbsp Worcestershire
•1 tsp Tabasco Chipotle
•3/4 sweet onion (or so), chopped
•I also added a bit diced yellow tomato I had leftover from dinner that I didn’t want to just toss in the fridge.
Whisk the buttermilk, maple syrup and chives together and pour over four nice pork chops. Sprinkle with the peppercorns, cover, and stash in the fridge overnight – turning if you think about it.
Buttermilk and chops done, now let’s do the sauce:
There’s a long-ish list o’ spices and stuff, but don’t worry – it all comes together quickly and with a minimum of fuss.
Combine all in a pot over medium high heat, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for five minutes.
Allow sauce to cool, and then to mellow in the fridge overnight.
The next day, remove the chops from the buttermilk mixture, shake a bit to remove any excess (don’t worry about bits o’ peppercorn – it’s all good!), and let come to room temperature – about fifteen to thirty minutes.
Heat your grill to medium high and add the chops, brushing liberally with the sauce. Grill for about five minutes per side to desired doneness, brushing with more sauce when you turn the chops.
Give one last, quick flip to add a bit o’ char, remove to a platter and let rest (covered) for five or ten minutes.
We had ours as part of an all-grill dinner – corn on the cob (from Earl’s – it was g-o-o-o-d), and some seasoned Yukon Gold potatoes is tossed into a foil packet.
Rich liked these chops before – but he LOVES ‘em now!