Posted by: gbdub | January 10, 2010

Snowbound but Smokin’… Grilled Smoked Pork Chops with Spiced Apple Compote

Well, after a brief holiday hiatus, I’m back. Hope you all had a great Christmas, New Year, etc. Having been home for the holidays, I have an extensive backlog of festive desserts waiting internet immortalization. But since my dear sister has given you all diabetes with her extensive and varied collection of cookies and confections, I figured I’d come back with something a bit more savory.

This started when we picked up some smoked bone-in pork loin chops from a new meat market in town (Petoskey, that is) because they sounded interesting. I was tasked with finding a means of utilizing these in some sort of meal. I didn’t want to do anything too fancy and overwhelm the meat, which promised to be delicious on its own, but still wanted something special. And I was going to grill it, because, dammit, a little subzero weather is never going to keep me off the grill, but I did need to make some allowance for seasonality. This is what I came up with. Pork, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, maple, bourbon… sweet, smoky, and a little spicy.  Not too heavy, but still with some warming spices and wintry flavors. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients.

Mix the rub ingredients.

Get it in there nice and deep-like. Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavor soak in.

Stir together all the compote ingredients except the apples and heat on low.

Peel and core your apples. It helps to have one of these nifty spinning devices.

Dice the apples. This is best accomplished with your mom’s new Wusthofs.

Toss the apples into the saucepan just as the liquid begins to bubble. Simmer gently until the apples are soft and the compote thickens.

Grill your meat. I know it’s pork, but please, don’t overcook it. That little piggy didn’t give its life to be a dried out hunk of charred tastelessness.

If you can’t stand the (lack of) heat, get out of the Michigan.

Holy crap that looks awesome.

Spoon some compote on each chop and serve it up. It tastes a bit like very meaty, very awesome bacon. With apples. The red pepper in the rub gives just the right amount of kick, and complements nicely with the cinnamon spice and the smoky natural sweetness of the meat. Apples are a natural pair with pork, and frankly this compote would taste good on most anything. Next time I might add some caramelized pecans, and maybe turn this into a stuffed chop (in that case I’d put a bit less liquid in the compote, and leave the apples firmer).

Grilled Smoked Pork Chops with Spiced Apple Compote (an original recipe! By me! Aren’t you proud?)

For the rub:

  1. 3 Tbl. brown sugar
  2. ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  3. 1 tsp. ground red pepper

For the compote:

  1. 4 medium apples of your favorite variety
  2. ¼ cup apple cider
  3. 4 Tbl. pure maple syrup
  4. 4 Tbl. bourbon
  5. ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  6. dash ground nutmeg
  7. dash ground cloves

And of course:

  1. 4 bone-in smoked pork loin chops

Mix together rub ingredients. Spoon a generous teaspoon onto each side of each chop, and rub into the meat. Refrigerate for several hours.

Prepare grill and remove pork from refrigerator to room temperature for a few minutes. Stir together all compote ingredients except apples in a medium saucepan and place on stove over low heat. Peel, core, and dice apples. Add apples to saucepan when liquid just begins to bubble. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until apples are cooked through and compote is thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Note that compote will thicken a bit more when removed from heat.

Grill seasoned chops over medium-high heat until just a bit pink in the center. I went to about 160° (medium for pork) – some say you’re supposed to go all the way to 170°, but this really dries it out, so I (with no binding legal liability) suggest living a bit dangerously for your tastebuds’ sake.  Grilling times will vary based on your grill and thickness of the meat, but in my case it took about 7 minutes a side.

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Responses

  1. OMG, these were amazing! One of the many awesome meals I was treated to while Garrick and Kristen were home. Also why I gained 8 lbs over the holidays.


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