Cook This: Grilled Monster Pork Chops with Tomatillo and Green Apple Sauce (not to be confused with applesauce.)

child two thumbs up at dinner

Two thumbs up.

We had a few double cut pork chops in our freezer from, oh, about 9 months ago. Even though we had used the Seal-a-Meal Food Saver I was worried they’d be too old. Not so! They didn’t even smell a little bit like freezer. I have to add here that the Food Saver is a fabulous investment. For us it has been great not only for keeping food fresh a little longer but also allowing us to always have a healthy meal or two on hand, a must for a full-time doctor mama whose part-time architect husband isn’t exactly independent in the kitch.

But back to the pork chops. I honestly haven’t enjoyed a meal this much in ages. It was hit for everyone. I even got a double thumbs up from my 4 year-old. He reserves this for only the most “abominable” (phenomenal) dishes.

The most complicated part of this dish by far was cooking the pork chops on the grill- and I won’t take credit for that, my husband is the family grill master. This makes me very happy (both of the above.)

We served the chops with Romaine, Avocado and Smoky Corn Salad with Chipotle Dressing and quinoa. I’ll post the salad recipe later this week if I can get to it. And for the record the boy piled up the sauce and quinoa on the slices of pork. He also helped himself to several spoonfuls of the sauce (twice) which he ate as a side dish.

The recipe is from

As past visitors know, I usually mess with recipes but I did this one almost verbatim (cut and pasted below with my changes in parentheses.)

For pork chops

  • 3 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (2-inch-thick) loin pork chops (each about 1 lb)- we had 2 in the freezer, so that’s what I used

For tomatillo and green apple sauce

  • 1/2 lb fresh tomatillos (about 5), husks discarded and tomatillos rinsed  (I used 3/4 lb.)
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo (I used a little less because we were serving this to our 4 year old. It was still spicy, just-right spicy.)

Marinate chops:
Stir together coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oil and stir until combined well. Rub spice mixture all over chops. Let chops marinate while making sauce and preparing grill.

Make sauce:
Simmer tomatillos and 3 cups water in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart saucepan, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tomatillos are just soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool 15 minutes.

While tomatillos are cooling, core apples and cut into 1/4-inch dice (I cut them smaller than that). Purée tomatillos with remaining sauce ingredients except apples in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and stir in apples.

To cook pork using a charcoal grill:
Open vents on bottom of grill. Light charcoal (80 to 100 briquettes) in chimney starter. Leaving about one quarter of grill free of charcoal, bank lit charcoal across rest of grill so that coals are about three times higher on opposite side.

Charcoal fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack over area where coals are piled highest for 3 to 4 seconds. Sear pork on lightly oiled grill rack directly over hottest part of coals, uncovered, turning over once and, if necessary, moving around grill to avoid flare-ups, until well browned, 10 to 12 minutes total. Move pork to coolest part of grill, then cover with inverted roasting pan and grill, turning pork over once, until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of each chop (avoid bone) registers 150°F, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 15 minutes (temperature will rise to 155°F).

To cook pork using a gas grill:
Preheat all burners on high, covered, 10 minutes. Sear pork on lightly oiled grill rack, covered with lid, turning over once, until well browned, 10 to 12 minutes total. Turn off 1 burner (middle burner if there are 3) and put pork above shut off burner. Reduce heat on remaining burner(s) to moderate and grill pork, covered with lid, until thermometer inserted diagonally into center (avoid bone) registers 150°F, 12 to 16 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 15 minutes (temperature will rise to 155°F).

Serve pork:
Cut pork away from bone, then thinly slice and serve with sauce.


Dr Samantha





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