This dish is the culmination of my last couple of posts. The spicy whiskey and chipotle BBQ sauce is perfect for grilled pork chops. The sweet and tangy grilled corn salsa goes great with the spicy BBQ pork chop. To round things out, I serve the chops on a bed of sauteed collard greens. The bitterness of the greens cuts right through the sweetness and heat of the chops and salsa. If you can't find collard greens, any bitter green will do the trick, such as kale or rapini.
When it comes to buying the pork chops, make sure they are really thick, at least 3/4". If you can't find thick-cut pork chops at your local grocery store, it's worth the trip to a butcher shop to get some serious chops. Wimpy, thin-cut pork chops will be woefully overcooked by the time you put any sort of grill marks on them. Most people mistakenly believe that you have to cook pork thoroughly, until it is essentially well done, but this is a misconception. If you don't want to take my word for it, even the FDA says that it's okay to serve pork at 63C, which is a perfect medium with a nice, rosy pink center. A pork chop cooked to 63C will be nice and tender and plenty juicy. An instant-read digital thermometer will tell you exactly when it's time to take your chops off the grill.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
4 thick-cut pork chops
200ml whiskey and chipotle BBQ sauce
2 bunches collard greens (about 6 cups chopped)
60g (1/4 cup) butter
2 cups grilled corn salsa
salt & fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the grill to high.
1. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Use a brush to apply a generous amount of BBQ sauce to each side of all the pork chops. Place the pork chops on the grill and cook on one side until nicely charred, about 5-6 minutes. Turn the pork chops and grill the other side. Use the brush to apply another layer of BBQ sauce to each chop. Lower the heat of the grill or if using charcoal, move the chops to a cooler side of the grill. Close the lid and continue cooking the chops until they reach an internal temperature of 63 degrees Celsius, about 8-10 minutes.
2. While the chops are cooking, combine the chopped collard greens and butter in a large frying pan or pot. Add 1/4 cup water and season with salt and pepper. Saute the greens until soft, about 6 minutes. When cooked, place the greens in a strainer to allow excess moisture to drip off.
To serve: Place a pile of sauteed collard greens in the center of each plate. Top with grilled pork chop and then garnish each chop with 1/2 cup grilled corn salsa.
Derek Bocking is a professional chef with over 15 years culinary experience. On his blog, Derek's Kitchen, he shares restaurant-style recipes for amateur gourmets to try at home, from quick and easy meals to more elaborate showstoppers.
by Derek Bocking