Grilling
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Grilled Pork Ribeye Chops with Chipotle, Agave, and Tequila Glaze

Chipotle and agave glaze? Why didn’t I think of that?

This recipe is based on a meal I had at Orale Contemporary Mexican Kitchen in Cleveland. They serve the pork chops “long bone” style, with a frenched rib bone still attached to the chop. It is an impressive presentation, and worth the trip to the near west side to try out.

Don’t try this at home? Quite the opposite; I had to try this at home. Here is my version, which adds tequila to the chipotle-agave glaze. Why tequila? Well, because I’m serving this with Mexican Martinis, and the hint of tequila in the glaze will tie the meal together.
Kind of like the Dude’s rug. It really tied the room together. Wait – I should be serving white russians….ahem. Sorry. Off on a tangent there.

Recipe: Grilled Pork Ribeye Chops with Chipotle, Agave, and Tequila Glaze

Inspired by: Chipotle-agave glazed long bone pork chops, Orale Contemporary Mexican Kitchen

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 16 minutes

Equpiment

Ingredients

  • 1 quart water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 thick-cut (1 1/2 inch thick) pork ribeye chops or pork porterhouse chops

Chipotle-Agave-Tequila glaze

  • 1/4 cup dark agave syrup (or substitute honey)
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle en adobo puree (or 1 chipotle en adobo, with adobo sauce, minced fine)

Directions

1. Brine the pork chops

Stir the water, salt, and brown sugar in a deep bowl until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the pork chops to the water, put the bowl in the refrigerator, and refrigerate for at least an hour. (Four hours is better, eight hours max.)

2. Make the glaze

Put the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the glaze thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

3. Set the grill up for two zone cooking

Set the grill up with a zone for direct high heat, and another zone for indirect heat. For my Weber Summit, I preheat the grill with all burners on high for fifteen minutes. Then I turn all but two of the burners off – leaving burners 1 and 2 on (direct high heat zone) and turning burners 3 through 6 off (indirect heat zone). Then I clean the grates with my grill brush.

4. Grill the chops

Overview: Sear the chops over direct high heat for 8 minutes. Brush with glaze, then finish the chops over indirect heat. Cook until the chops reach 135°F internal temperature, about 8 minutes, brushing with glaze halfway through, and again when the chops are done cooking.

Details: Remove the chops from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Put the chops on the grill over direct heat and cook with the lid closed as much as possible. Grill the chops until they have brown grill marks on the bottom and release easily from the grate, about 2 minutes, then flip and grill until the other side has good grill marks, about 2 minutes. Flip the chops again and rotate the chops 90 degrees to get crosshatched grill marks, and cook until browned, about 2 more minutes. Flip the chops one more time and grill until there is a good crosshatch of grill marks on the last side, about 2 more minutes. At this point the chops should have a nice, brown crust on them, but they will not be cooked through in the middle. Move them to the indirect heat side of the grill, over the unlit burners, and brush with the agave-chipotle-tequila glaze. Cook, brushing with glaze and flipping the chops after four minutes, otherwise keeping the lid closed as much as possible. The chops are done when the reach an internal temperature of 140°F – about eight minutes of cooking over indirect heat.

5. Serve

Remove the chops to a platter, and pour any remaining glaze over the chops. Rest the pork for ten minutes, then serve.

Notes

  • 1 teaspoon of chipotle puree adds just a hint of heat. You can skip it if you want…but my heat-sensitive child didn’t notice it. On the other end, if you want to bump up the heat, go with a tablespoon of chipotle puree.

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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Grilled Thick Pork Chops with Adobo Paste
Grilled Pork Chops with Knob Creek Lemon Glaze

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