Pork loin chops are brined, grilled, and topped with a delicious sauce infused with classic fall flavors.
Even though fall has officially arrived, we’ve had temps in the 90’s this week here in New England. Mother nature somehow isn’t seeing all the advertisements for pumpkin spiced lattes and apple cider donuts, and has ignored the fact that the leaves are starting to change. So, until she catches up I plan to keep my outdoor grill going. What do you make for dinner when the calendar says autumn but the thermometer says summer? How about these delicious Grilled Pork Chops with Rosemary Pumpkin Butter!
If you’re not a fan of pork I guarantee you this dish will win you over! The problem with pork is that it’s often bland tasting and can dry out very quickly if overcooked, but fortunately there are two things that you can do to fix this. Number one – soak it in a brine solution prior to cooking, and number 2 – serve it with a stellar sauce. This recipe for Grilled Pork Chops with Rosemary Pumpkin Butter uses both of these tips. The sauce I created for this dish (pictured above) is infused with classic fall flavors – pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, and rosemary – and is a fantastic, seasonal complement to pork.
You don’t have to brine the pork chops for Grilled Pork Chops with Rosemary Pumpkin Butter, but if you have the time for this step it makes such a difference! If you’ve ever had pork at a restaurant and thought how much better is tastes than pork you’ve made at home, it’s because restaurants almost always brine lean cuts of meat like pork and chicken. Brining involves soaking meat in a salt/sugar solution (and sometimes other seasonings as well) prior to cooking. The main purpose of brining is to enhance juiciness and prevent the meat from drying out when cooked, but it has the added benefit of seasoning the meat throughout. Without brining, meat is seasoned on the outside just prior to cooking, but with brining, the salt solution has a chance to permeate the meat over the course of 1 or more hours. This results in cooked meat that tastes more uniformly seasoned.
This fall inspired recipe for Grilled Pork Chops with Rosemary Pumpkin Butter would work equally well with pork tenderloin, or chicken. No more boring pork!
- PORK CHOPS
- ½ cup kosher salt
- ½ cup coconut sugar (or regular white sugar)
- 6 bone-in pork loin chops, each about 1-inch thick
- ROSEMARY PUMPKIN BUTTER
- 1 – 15 ounce can of pumpkin
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, plus extra garnish
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Make a brine by combining the salt and sugar with 2 quarts of water in a large stock pot set over medium high heat. Stir continuously until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Off the heat and let the brine come to room temperature. Add the pork chop and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but no more than 4 hours.
- Combine the pumpkin butter ingredients in a blender, food processor, or the beaker that came with your immersion blender. Process until the mixture is silky smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat an outdoor grill to medium high and lightly oil the grate. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry. Grill them until a meat registers 140 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, about 10-12 minutes per side. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Warm the pumpkin butter in a small sauce pan on the stove-top over low heat and serve with the pork chops. Garnish with fresh rosemary if desired.
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