Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grilled Pork Chops Recipe with Lemon, Garlic, and Sage


(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites August 2009) This recipe is a perfect way to use those thick lean boneless pork chops which tend to be dry if you cook them without marinating. (All you Costco shoppers know the ones I mean.) It's also a recipe for people who really like sage, so if you're not really a sage fan, I recommend using less, or check the Grilling category for a different recipe for grilled pork chops. My original photo for this recipe had pretty lame grill marks, but I was much happier with the marks above that I got from my new natural gas grill! (The grill in that picture really is exactly like mine.)

I first made this in 2007, and the recipe was inspired by one I saw in Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook. This is a book I pull out every summer and discover more recipes to try. The book is so old you can buy used copies of Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook at Amazon.com for less than $5.00. (Full disclosure: Kalyn's Kitchen does earn a few cents on the dollar if you follow that link and buy the book.) Their recipe had fried sage which some people would think is more trouble than it's worth, and I used rubbed sage from Penzeys. If you have sage in your garden though, fried sage would be perfect with this.

If you're using those thick loin chops, they'll turn out better if they're pounded before you marinate them. I trimmed all the fat and then pounded the chops until they were about 1/2 inch thick.

The original recipe said to marinate pork chops about four hours, but now that I've made them again I think marinating all day will bump up the flavor even more. Trim the pork chops the night before, then make the marinade and pour it over in the morning before work and let pork chops marinate in the fridge all day.

If you want grill marks, preheat the grill to high, then turn the heat to medium high when you rotate the pork chops after the first grill marks appear. This usually takes about 4 minutes, but lift one pork to check before you rotate.

If you don't have an outdoor grill, this recipe can be cooked on a stove-top grill pan with ridges or a George Foreman Grill with good results.


Grilled Pork Chops with Lemon, Garlic, and Sage
(Makes 4 servings, recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook.)

Ingredients:
4 thick boneless pork chops

Marinade Ingredients:
2-3 T fresh lemon juice (I would use 3 T, but I really like lemon)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. rubbed sage (or use 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage, use less sage if you're not crazy about sage)
2 tsp. garlic puree (pureed garlic, also called ground garlic)
2 tsp. dried shallots (I love the dried shallots from Penzeys for marinades, but you could use 1 T minced fresh shallots or 1 tsp. onion powder)
fresh ground pepper to taste, about 1/4 tsp.

Instructions:
Trim all fat around edges of pork chops, then put chops one at a time inside a thick ziploc bag and use meat mallet or something heavy to pound until they are about 1/2 inch thick.

If using dried shallots, crush them a bit before adding to marinade. Combine all marinade ingredients in measuring cup. Put pork chops in large ziploc bag, pour marinade in and marinate in refrigerator at least 4 hours, but all day is better.

To cook, preheat charcoal or gas grill to high. (You can only hold your hand there for 1-2 seconds.) Put chops diagonally on grill and cook 4-5 minutes, then rotate pork chops and turn down heat to medium high. (I usually lift them up and check for grill marks to tell when to rotate.) Cook 4-5 minutes more, then check for grill marks and if they are browned to your liking, turn over and cook 3-5 minutes more on the second side.

Cooking time will depend on the heat of your grill, but total time is probably less than 15 minutes. Pork chops are done when they feel firm, but not hard, to the touch and are well browned. If you have an instant-read meat thermometer, use it to check for doneness. Serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Lean pork chops like this are perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, eat it with something like Grilled Asparagus with Double Lemon and Parmesan and Mary's Perfect Salad. For phase two or three, you could add Brown and Wild Rice with Pine Nuts and Thyme.

More Pork Chops for the Grill:
Cuban Pork Chops Mojo
Grilled Lime and Chipotle Pork Chops
Grilled Ginger Soy Pork Chopscounter customizable free hit

28 comments:

  1. Kalyn, If you put those chops in front of me I don't think I would even notice the grill marks... I would just devour them!!

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  2. These sound luscious, and they will definitely be on my indoor grill this weekend.

    Adanna

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  3. Thanks for the recipe!

    I am always looking for good grilled pork chop recipes and I love sage.

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  4. Bruno, if that jet ever touches down in Salt Lake, I will be happy to cook this for you! Maybe I could even get better grill marks that time.

    Adanna, thanks, hope you like them. I'm honored that you're visiting my blog! (Can anyone guess whose sister Adanna is? Hint: it's one of my best food blogging friends.)

    Anna, hope you like it.

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  5. They sound wonderful - lemon and sage, 2 of my favorites.
    But THICK pork chops? The thickest I can ever find is 1/4 inch. I'm not sure I could even convince a butcher to cut them as thick as you can get them. He'd just shake his head and say 'not possible'

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  6. Interesting Katie. These are called "pork loin chops" and I think it's what would be sold as a pork loin roast sliced into pork chops. They're pretty common here.

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  7. Hi Kalyn,

    Is there any way I could send you a private email?

    Thank you so much!

    Ferozan :)

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  8. My e-mail address is kalynskitchen AT comcast DOT net.

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  9. You're lucky you have access to the grill!!! My husband doesn't let me closer than 3 ft radius....since I never have the patience to stand there and watch the food....so I go back inside the kitchen to finish up other dishes. I end up forgetting that my steak is outside on the grill!

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  10. Jaden, if he's a good husband in other ways, you should still keep him around!

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  11. Oh! Delicious! Grill marks are for food stylist. Food eater's really don't care. :)

    Love the recipe!

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  12. Mmmmm, pork! Those sound spectacular! Dunno where I could get fresh sage (what exactly is rubbed sage?) at this time of year though... :( I really need to get off my arse and get some pots to grow herbs indoors!

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  13. I always have trouble with pork chops, they don't seem to sit still the way a good steak does. I had one the other day that curled so much, the entire centre of it was completely untouched by the grill.

    I know, I know, I should snip the sides.

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  14. What wonderful flavours! Sounds absolutely scrumptious and looks pretty good too as far as I'm concerned!

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  15. Kirsten, you're sweet. I realize they don't affect the taste, but I do love to see those nice criss-cross grill marks.

    Ellie, "rubbed" sage is dried sage that is rubbed to crumble it into a type of slightly-sticky powder. It's not as flavorful as fresh sage of course, but pretty good.

    Neil, the pounding helps a little with this problem. I agree, I hate snipping the edges. It just looks weird.

    Truffle, thanks. It was very good if I do say so myself.

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  16. I love grill marks and actually try to produce them! It's like food announcing that it has been BBQ-ed.

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  17. I made these tonight for dinner. They had a great flavor! Thanks for the recipe.

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  18. Anna, so glad they turned out for you! Thanks for letting me know you liked them.

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  19. Kalyn, I must admit that you the top Pork Chop chef here...

    Being a Pork chop lovers, I love all of the pork chop recipes, which recommended by you.

    Thanks for all of the good tips :)

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  20. Hi Kalyn, what's the salad in the picture? That looks amazing too!

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  21. Hi Beth,

    It was a variation of the Zucchini Carpaccio but I added some chopped arugula and basil to replace the herbs and subbed feta for the goat cheese. The next day I made a better-looking version with yellow and green squash; that one will be coming up on the blog.

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  22. Very well executed recipe, Kalyn! Love your natural gas grill. Don't you love never having to worry if your LP gas tank is going to go empty during a cook? We had a natural gas grill when we first moved here and loved it compared to propane grill.

    When I have thick chops, instead of pounding them thin, I do a sear on each side and then finish them via indirect heat. Perfect on the outside and inside. I'll have to try this recipe.

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  23. Chris I like the sound of that method for thick pork chops too. Will try that in the winter when I don't mind heating up the house!

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  24. Kalyn,
    Thank you so much for your blog. We love your recipes so much, I find my self coming to your blog almost everyday. My husband started south beach a few weeks ago and I was desperate to find good recipes. I am not a good cook but I've made some of the dishes from your blog and he has loved every single one of them!! (he is extremely picky though) so thanks a bunch!!
    Elsie

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  25. Elsie, you're very welcome. So glad to hear the recipes are working for you.

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  26. I'm scanning this quickly so I'm probably missing it but did you tell what you served this next to in the picture? That looks amazing and I want it now!!!! ;)

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  27. I'm not 100% sure, but I think this Raw Zucchini Salad is what's next to the pork chop in the photo.

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