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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chipotle Pork Chops

Chipotle Pork Chops
Everybody has their own idea of MAN FOOD. It all depends on the man. But in our house, it's get-your-fingers-dirty, gnaw-the-bone, chew-the-fat kinda food. Steak knives? We don't need no stinkin' steak knives - we've got teeth for ripping! It's almost primal. Yes, my hubs is definitely the kind of guy that like a large cut of meat on the bone.

Now, in reality, my guy just likes food. If I feed him, he's happy. Not to mention he's a pretty darn good cook in his own right. I'd been marinating some large, manly chops for almost 48 hours, and he scraped the needles from a stack of cactus paddles we brought home the day before. So, we fired up the grill and made a mess of pleasantly spicy pork chops and nopales the other night.

Man food at its finest.

Chipotle Pork Chops
Smoky, spicy pork chops prepared on the grill. A great "MAN FOOD" meal to serve to your favorite guys on Father's Day.
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Chipotle Pork Chops
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes (active), 24-48 hours (inactive)
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Keywords: grill entree dairy-free nut-free soy-free paleo cinnamon chiles pork onions July 4th tailgating game day Fathers Day

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeds removed + 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 bone-in pork blade chops (~3-1/2 pounds total)
Combine the chiles and adobo sauce, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, thyme, cinnamon, and salt in a mini food processor and blend to make a paste. Scrape the paste into a container that is large enough to hold the chops, then stir in the sliced onions, tomatoes and any juices, and teh olive oil. Add the pork chops one at a time, turning them to coat. Cover the container and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
marinating Chipotle Pork Chops
Prepare your grill (charcoal or gas).

Remove the chops from the marinade, scraping most of the excess back into the container. Now, scrape all of the marinade from the container and into a small pot; add 1/4 water and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer for 10 minutes. Bring it out to the grill with you for basting (or do the whole process right on the grill).
marinade for Chipotle Pork Chops
Brush a little extra olive oil on the chops and set them on the now-ready grill. Cook for about 8 minutes on the first side, brushing with some of the marinade halfway through (and turning them at a 45 degree angle for a crosshatched grill pattern).
grilling the Chipotle Pork Chops
Flip them over and repeat, cooking until done to your liking. If you like, set them off of the direct heat, cover the grill, and let them cook awhile. They should be fine cooking and smoking a bit longer, as they've been in the marinade for a long time.

Remove them to a tray and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Since pork blade chops are cut from the shoulder end of the loin, they are marbled with more fat than other chops. This means that they have great flavor, but they can be chewy, so don't skimp on the marinating time.

-ever-so-slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine June 2014
Chipotle Pork Chops