I almost gave up on pork chops. I had tried many different ways to cook them, but often times they’d come out too tough, like leather. But then I discovered the tenderizing secret: brining! I tried brining first with thin sliced cutlets, and it worked o.k., but center cut on-the-bone chops turned out the best every time. I should have known this as my dad, who was a butcher, always told me meat on the bone is the juiciest cut.
Today I’m going to share with you my secret for juicy grilled pork chops with chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri sauce beautifully complements grilled meat and is naturally gluten free. Originating in Argentina, chimichurri is similar to pesto sauce. I make it with parsley, cilantro, and a little hot spiciness from red pepper flakes.
John wants me to tell you that he loves this sauce. He was right there with Peter shooting these pictures. I even saw him licking the spoon after spreading the sauce on the chops. I love when my family enjoys a recipe this much. Everything about this dish is delicious from the juicy pork to the unique, flavorful taste of the quick and easy chimichurri sauce. These chops go on sale often so I know I’ll be keeping my freezer stocked.
To brine the chops just soak the meat in salt water for an hour. This traps the moisture in the meat. Pat the salt water off when finished brining. This will leave you with a tenderized juicy chop.
Even though the summer is winding down here in the Northeast, the warm weather is still with us. I like to continue grilling as long it’s still pleasant to go outside. Grilling makes me feel like the summer never ends.
Here’s each step:
First, make the Chimichurri sauce.
I used a fork to crush garlic cloves and a little bit of salt together in a small dish. Then, I tossed the parsley, cilantro, onion, oregano, red pepper, and a little bit of water into the food processor and processed the ingredients until the mixture had a paste-like consistency. With the food processor covered and the motor running, I added a little Bragg’s apple cider vinegar through the small feed tube. Finally, while continuing to run the motor, I poured in the oil in a slow steady stream, thickening the mixture. So quick and effortless to make, and this fresh green sauce is ready!
If you’re looking for a reliable food processor, I recommend this model by Cuisinart.
Next, brine the chops.
This only takes an hour and is well worth the extra time for deliciously moist and tender chops. My chops are about 1″ thick. Dissolve salt in water; 1 tablespoon of salt per cup of water. I had 3 tablespoons of salt dissolved in 3 cups of water. Place meat in a large baking dish and cover with brine. Cover the dish and refrigerate just one hour. Then take out the chops and pat dry. Discard the brine. Brush chops with olive oil, rub with black pepper, and you’re ready to grill.
Sear the chops.
Preheat your grill on high. Grill uncovered 3 minutes on each side.
Now turn down the temperature to low.
Cover and continue grilling 3-4 minutes on each side.
And that’s it! The tastiest pork chops topped with zesty chimichurri sauce. Time for a happy dance.
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- For the brine:
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 4 center-cut, bone-in pork chops
- 3 cups water
- Prepare pork chops for grilling:
- olive oil
- For the Chimichurri Sauce:
- 1 cup packed Italian parsley leaves
- ½ cup packed cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Bragg's apple cider vinegar
- For the brine: Dissolve salt in water. Place meat in a large baking dish and cover with brine, cover the dish and refrigerate for one hour.
- Then take the chops out, discard the brine and pat the chops completely dry. Brush chops with olive oil and rub with pepper.
- Preheat grill: Sear pork chops uncovered on high for 3 minutes on each side.Then turn heat to low, cover and grill for 3-4 minutes longer on each side. Let the chops rest for 5 minutes
- For the chimichurri sauce: Mash the garlic and salt together in a small dish. Place in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the large chopping blade. Add the cilantro, parsley, onion, oregano, pepper and water. Secure the cover. Process until the mixture has a paste-like consistency, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary. Cover. Now with the motor running, add the vinegar through the small feed tube. Finally while continuing to run the motor, add the oil in a slow steady stream, thickening the mixture. Serve alongside your grilled pork chops.
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