6.2.15 Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Pickled Greens
I’m happy to report that once again, our grill has survived the long winter months and is fully back in commission. Truth be told, now that it’s back in use, I’m finding it hard to want to cook anything not on the grill. I can think of worse problems. Also wonderful is the fact that after several weeks of first trimester nausea and lack of appetite, I’m finally back to craving real food again.
Which is why, last weekend, I decided to make these most delicious pork chops. I spend a lot of time around pork at my job, and when I get home from work, I’m not always in the mood for more. But for some reason, last weekend a nice, juicy pork chop on the grill seemed like just the thing. I whipped up a super simple sweet and smokey spice rub, and after grilling our chops to dark golden grilled perfection, I knew I had made the right call.
But as tasty as those chops were, topping them with a big pile of spicy, tangy, pickled greens made them even more delicious. Forrest has never been one to truly enjoy eating a big pile of greens (unlike yours truly), but even he had to admit that once pickled with garlic and red chiles, they were pretty tasty. Served with a side of fluffy parmesan mashed potatoes, it was the perfect dinner.
Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Pickled Greens
serves 2 with extra greens
You’ll end up with some extra pickled greens, but they’re so tasty on sandwiches, atop rice bowls, or even just eaten straight up out of the jar that I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding a use for them. The greens take some time to pickle and flavorize fully, so plan accordingly.
- 6 oz chopped fresh greens (such as kale, collard, turnip, or mustard greens)
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 large fresno chile, thinly sliced (seeded if less heat desired)
- 1 ½ cup water
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 bone-in pork chops, ½-¾ lb each
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1. Make the pickled greens: Combine the chopped greens, sliced garlic, and chiles and pack them into a heatproof jar (I recommend a wide-mouth quart size canning jar).
2. Combine the water, cider vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is just boiling and salt and sugar have dissolved completely, pour brine into jar over greens. Use a spoon to push greens down to ensure that they are completely covered by the brine. Cover jar and let sit at room temp until cool, about 2 hours. Place jar in refrigerator and let sit for at least 4 hours before serving.
3. For the pork chops: Blot the surface of the chops with paper towel to ensure that they are very dry. Combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt, and cayenne in a small bowl, then rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of the chops.
4. Let the spice-coated chops sit while you heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. When grill is ready, cook the chops, flipping often, until surface is beginning to caramelize and interior temperature of the chops registers at 145 degrees.
5. Remove chops from grill, let rest for 3-5 minutes, then serve topped with the pickled greens.