I love the thick cut pork chops on the bone for grilling they are great with just a bit of oil and grill spice but taking the time to brine the chops can make them even better. The flavors of coriander, citrus and pork marry together perfectly add a nice dry white wine and some grilled veggies like mushrooms and butternut squash and you have a gourmet meal all made on the grill.
During January and February in Florida we are lucky enough to enjoy a few weeks of citrus heaven, honeybell orange season. These large sweet and juicy oranges are pretty fragile so the rarely are exported outside the state in large quantity, but if you can find them try them. They peal easily and the flesh inside is perfect, sweet and tender. If you can’t get a honnybell for the relish you could use any sweet juicy orange. If the oranges you have are smaller than a softball use two!!
4 thick cut bone in chops
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dry garlic
Peel of one honeybell (eat the insides)
¼ cup orange juice (the kind you drink for breakfast out of a box will work fine)
In a large non-reactive container mix the sugar, salt and spices then add about 2 cups of warm/hot water. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolves in the water. Use a handful of ice cool the brine to at least room temperature. Add the orange peel.
Then place the chops in the brine. Add enough water to cover chops and return the container to the fridge. Let the chops brine for at least 6 hours, turning once or twice.
When you are ready to grill remove the chops from the brine, dry well and drizzle with olive oil. Add ground black pepper to the outside but don’t salt. Grill the onions and oranges for the relish before you grill the chops.
To grill the chops:
Place the chops on a hot grill over direct heat for 3-5 minutes a side based on thickness. When done the chops should be between 140-150 degrees inside. Bone in chops look great if you make heavy grill marks on the meat, so don’t move them around too much or you will not get that pretty look. Allow the chops to rest for at least 5 minutes before you slice. Serve the chops with the honeybell relish either on top or on the side. Don’t forget to spoon some of liquid from the relish over top the chops as well. It’s so good.
1 Honeybell or other large sweet orange
1 large Spanish or other mild onion
1 tsp agave
¼ tsp coriander
Small bunch of cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Leaving the skin on the orange, slice it and the onion into 6-8 wedges and brush the outsides with olive oil. Place them on a hot grill. For the orange sections just mark the exposed flesh on the grill it will not take long, a few minutes a side, don’t do the skin side. The onion will take longer depending on the size of the slices, about 6 minutes a side. Flip to mark all three sides of the onion section.
Allow the orange and onion to cool enough to handle. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, remove the flesh of the orange from the peel using a paring knife. Also remove the pith and seeds from the orange, and squeeze the juice from any flesh that is left on the peel. Next add the agave, cilantro and coriander, stir gently. Slice the grilled onion into small pieces and stir into the orange mixture. mix the orange slices into the relish. Add salt and pepper to taste, I like this relish to be sweet and salty and have plenty of pepper, so go crazy.
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