Monday, November 7, 2011

Grilled Pork Chop with Kale and Olives

I was going to try a new recipe of a Greek dish with pork shoulder but the butcher happened to be out of shoulder so we went with some fine-looking pork chops. We got ones with bone-in from a heritage pig, so plenty of fat on them. The last time I made pork chops I had trouble with the medium Big Green Egg that I would usually grill it on (still learning it as it's pretty different than the XL BGE I'm much more used to) so went with cooking it indoors by pan-frying it then finishing it in the oven. However I mis-timed everything and was a bit disappointed with the results so I was happy to get another try with the BGE again.

The meal was grilled pork chops served with sides of kale with olives and roasted potatoes.

Grilled Pork Chops

2 bone-in pork chops (from organic source of a heritage pig)

1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil

On the fatty end of the chops, cut a couple of vertical slits (perpendicular to the chop) to prevent them from curling up on the grill. Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar then add the olive oil to combine. Add fresh-cracked black pepper. With a rubber spatula, scoop up the marinade and slather onto the chops. Put the chops into a ziploc bag with marinade and put into the frig for at least an hour.
Fire up the grill. Once very hot, clean the grate and then oil it. Remove the chops from the bag and put over direct heat to sear. On the BGE I find it takes only a couple of minutes to get a good set of grill marks on the first side before turning over. Let it sear on the other side for a few minutes then shut down the openings to continue cooking without the flame. This took only a couple of minutes as the temperature was about 500 at this point. Once the touch method lets you know it is about medium done, remove from the grill and cover with foil to allow it to rest about 10 minutes.

Kale with Olives

This was from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone.
1 large bunch kale, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped coarsely
1/2 cup marinated olives pitted and chopped coarsely
3 tablespoons olive oil
Red Pepper flakes

Best to make this just prior to serving. Boil kale leaves in salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain well and combine in a bowl with the olives, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and serve.

Roasted Potatoes

2 pounds Yukon Gold or Fingerling potatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 head of garlic, cloves separated but left unpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat an oven for roasting at 425.
Put 4 quarts water in a large pot and over high heat to boil. While waiting for the water to boil, chop the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. When the water is boiling, add the chopped potatoes to parboil for about 2-3 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Move the potatoes to a large bowl with the olive oil, rosemary and garlic to combine and season well with the salt and pepper. Prepare a baking pan by smearing olive oil on the surface, then emptying the potatoes from the bowl onto the pan in a single layer. I usually line a flat baking pan with foil and rub the oil on the foil to prevent the potatoes from sticking while cooking.
Put the pan in the preheated oven on the middle rack and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes have browned well, stirring them occasionally during the cooking.
Remove from the oven and cover with foil until serving.

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