BBQ48/17: Dirty Pork Chops with Rosemary Butter, Pickled Fennel, Grilled Apples and Crispy Sage:
A couple of weeks back Farmison mentioned they had some exciting new products coming out soon and one of their emails had a new BBQ range so I followed the link to have a good look. One of the first things that stood out were these monster pork chops, cracking value at only £5.75 for 750g so I added two to my basket and had a look through my books for a recipe – Dirty Pork Chops with Rosemary Butter by Rich Harris.
The chops arrived and they were BIG!
Next picture shows a Biro for scale!
The recipe suggests rosemary butter and pickled fennel, I decided to add some mash as well. I made the pickled fennel the night before the cook: fennel, sea salt, boiling water, white wine vinegar and caster sugar. You knead the sliced fennel with the salt for 5 minutes to soften it, I was sceptical it would soften but it did as time went on so that was interesting! Once it cooled I left it in the fridge overnight.
On the day of the cook I poured boiling water over the skin on the chops, patted them dry then left them on a rack in the fridge until it was time to cook them. I have done this before with pork belly skin to help crisp it during the cook so I am guessing that’s the same principle here.
I had some Oxford Charcoal Birch left, it’s best with lamb but it’s good quality, clean charcoal and as I was cooking dirty I wanted to use the best charcoal I had available which is Oxford Charcoal. I lit it in the Weber chimney with a couple of flamers and whilst it was burning I made the rosemary butter with a pestle and mortar by grinding the salt and rosemary together then adding chopped rosemary.
When the charcoal was ready I poured it in the BBQ aiming for a flat spread in the centre where I placed the salted pork chops to cook:
The fat on the pork was causing a fair amount of smoke so it was hard to get many pictures during the cook, most of them were just smoke! I had a couple of flare ups when the lid was off to turn the meat but putting the BBQ lid back on helped surpress them. In the recipe Rich writes that you should place the meat on the charcoal with the fat hanging just off the side. I started off that way but it was hard to see what was going on when I was flipping the pork chops due to the smoke and I had to move quick to avoid flare ups! You will see the fat is quite black in some shots, this is because it was placed directly onto the charcoal rather than hanging over it. To be honest it didn’t detract from the meal, these bits were really nice!
I cooked the chops for about 8 or 9 minutes flipping them every couple of minutes. I kept checking the internal temperature and pulled them off when they hit 65c (FSA advises 75c but it’s quality meat so I was happy with 65c as I didn’t want over cooked pork that I remember from growing up!).
I wrapped these with foil and left them to rest for 5 minutes and then plated up:
Whilst I was pottering around my wife had grilled some apple slices and fried some sage leaves to go with the meal, great additions!
I really enjoyed the pork chops, they were massive and offered a substantial meal! I remember pork chops growing up as dry and chewy but these were tasty and juicy! The rosemary butter (not in the pic!) was a nice touch, I added it to the warm steaks and it added an extra flavour layer but more moisture to the pork too. The pickled fennel worked well to cut through the bbq meat and the sage leaves were addictive, would do more of those in future!
What would I do differently? I would try to place the pork on the charcoal so the fat does hang over the side and try not to burn that bit. Not easy with the smoke but it could improve the overall dish I think.
Another great recipe by Rich and a fairly simple cook that I would recommend.