What makes these grilled pork chops something special is grilled peaches. Grilling peaches and other stone fruits lends a flavor boost, bringing their natural sugar to the fore. Use freestone peaches so that you can easily twist the halves off the pit. Baste them with butter, honey, and bourbon as they grill to give them a sheen, then serve with a juicy pork chop, brined for a full day to season it all the way through.–Janet Fletcher
LC The Beauty of Bourbon Note
We know, we know. Bourbon is a beautiful thing. Too beautiful, perhaps, to expend on stone fruits destined for the grill, you may think. But after you try this recipe, you’ll want to think again.
Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches Recipe
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 1 day, 2 hours, not including cooling or brining | Serves 4
- For the brined and grilled pork chops
- 1 1/2 quarts water
- 6 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
- Handful of thyme sprigs
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
- 4 bone-in pork loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
- For the peaches
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 large freestone peaches (such as O’Henry or Elberta), halved and pitted
- Prepare the pork chops
- 1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Set the brine aside until completely cool.
- 2. Place the pork chops in a container that holds the chops snugly in a single layer. Add the garlic and the brine, which should cover the pork chops, and cover with plastic wrap. Or you can place the pork and its brine in a 1-gallon heavy-duty resealable food storage bag. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
- 3. About 1 hour before cooking, remove the pork chops from the brine and set them on a wire cooling rack at room temperature to dry.
- 4. Prepare a moderate charcoal fire for indirect grilling or preheat a gas grill to medium 375ºF (190°C), leaving one burner unlit.
- 5. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Set the chops directly over the coals or gas flame and brown on both sides, turning once, for about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to indirect heat, cover the grill, and cook until the chops offer some resistance to the touch but are still springy, not firm, about 4 minutes longer. If you are unsure of doneness, measure the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer, inserting it horizontally into a chop; it should register about 150ºF (65°C) for medium.
- Make the peaches
- 6. Combine the butter, bourbon, and honey in a small saucepan over moderately low heat and stir until the butter melts and the honey dissolves. Keep warm.
- 7. After you’ve moved the pork chops to indirect heat, brush the peaches all over with the butter-honey mixture and place them, cut side down, directly over the coals or gas flame. Cook until they’re nicely charred, then turn, baste again, and cook just until the peaches are tender and juicy. The pork chops and peaches should be done at roughly the same time, but if not, move whichever is done first to a cooler area of the grill to wait. Serve each pork chop with a grilled peach half alongside.
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Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches Recipe © 2010 Janet Fletcher and the Chefs of Sur La Table. Photo © 2010 Sara Remington. All rights reserved.