I wrote this post yesterday but I have to preface it now with this: THIS RECIPE IS OUTSTANDING!!!!!
After enjoying it for dinner on Saturday evening and then as leftovers yesterday, I have to give it an extra shout out. Wow, this has definitely become one of my favorite pork dishes!
I saw this recipe for Slow-roasted Pork Loin with Molasses and Balsamic Glaze as I was flipping through the Food and Wine December 2010 issue. I was very intrigued by the recipe but it seemed that it would be more appealing for the Winter/Fall comfort food season. I just couldn’t get the recipe out of my mind, so I decided to give it new twist for Spring – which is budding out everywhere I look in our neck of the woods!
Instead of oven-roasting as the original recipe called for, my husband fired up the grill and we used some beautiful boneless pork chops that were stashed in the freezer instead of the pork loin The result was fantastic – beautiful glazed chops with fantastic flavor to match! I served this tasty entree with grilled zucchini and herbed new potatoes. On Sunday we were “forced” to eat the leftovers and I tried out another new recipe from my massive “to try” list. Brown Butter Roasted Asparagus. Yum! I will be sharing the potato and the asparagus recipes later this week. This would be a great Easter meal or a stellar treat for your mom for Mother’s Day! Hope you enjoy it!
In the past I never really cared too much for these big, thick boneless pork chops. It seemed that no matter how I prepared them, they were a bit dry and sometimes tough. When I began to brine them ahead of time, it changed everything. Prepared this way, they become tender and moist and oh, so delicious!
- 2 quarts of cold water
- 5 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ small onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 thyme sprigs and 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, peel and smashed with the back of a knife
- 2 cups chicken stock (low sodium)
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 6 boneless pork chops, about 1-1½ inches thick
- About 4-6 hours before you plan to grill place the 2 quarts water, the kosher salt and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Stir until all salt and sugar is incorporated. Submerge pork chops in the brine and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar with the onion, thyme and rosemary sprigs and garlic. Boil over moderately high heat until reduced to ⅓ cup, about 10 minutes. Add the stock to the saucepan and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to about ⅔ cup, about 20 minutes. You want this to become syrupy.
- Strain the balsamic sauce. Transfer ⅓ cup of the sauce to a small bowl and reserve (this will be your sauce to either drizzle over the finished meat or to serve as a dipping sauce). Return the rest to the saucepan and stir in the molasses, mustard and crushed red pepper; let the glaze cool*
- About 1 hour before you plan to grill, remove pork from refrigerator. Remove pork chops from brine and rinse well with tap water. Dry with paper towels and place in a large zip lock bag. Pour approximately one half of the glaze mixture into bag with the pork (reserve the other half to use for brushing the pork while grilling). Let bagged pork remain at room temperature for one hour.
- Heat grill to medium high. Remove chops from marinade. Grill chops 5 inches from heat source 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, to an internal temperature of 145 to 150 degrees. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade. If the meat is nicely browned but still not done, turn off one of the burners and move pork to this side of the grill. The meat will continue to cook but won't continue to brown (burn!). (145-150 degrees is the recommended temperature for pork but I remove the pork from the grill at around 140 as it will continue to cook for just while resting.)
- Transfer the pork chops to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Let rest for about 5-10 minutes. Slice, if desired and arrange on plate or platter. Drizzle with the reserved balsamic sauce or serve sauce on the side in a small bowl for dipping.