My childhood memories of the pork chop were not particularly great. I don’t really think I appreciated the versatility of this cut of meat. The fact that it is pretty lean is an added bonus now that I’m an adult. When I was younger the chops I was served normally had a layer of fat around the edge which kind of freaked me out. There was often a bone, and the chops were pretty thin. They always tended to curl a bit. Food shouldn’t curl. I think all of that was typical of what you could find at your local grocery store in the 1980’s. As a result, I’ve not often cooked with pork (the almighty bacon, excluded).
While food blog surfing a couple of weeks ago, I landed on Cooking on the Side. This blog is great and the angle of the blog is pretty terrific too, “it is all about “revealing” these on-the-package recipes, with photos of how they actually turn out, cooking notes and more descriptive directions than package space usually allows for.” How great is that? This day the featured recipe was Maple Planked Pork Chops with Rosemary and Lemon. The writer had me at her description of the envious neighbors smelling her grilled chops.
The recipe is from Williams-Sonoma (I once worked at one for a little over a week). You can find the recipe on the package of the maple grilling planks. They just happened to be on sale the day I grabbed two of them. My grilling time took a bit longer than detailed in the instructions. I may not have preheated my charcoal grill long enough. I would suggest that you use an instant-read meat thermometer so that you’re sure that these thick chops are cooked completely through, but not overcooked, either.
Finally, there’s quite a bit of marinating time involved before you even reach the grill. The recipe recommends 1-4 hours. I went for the four. Be sure you’ve built that time into your day. Also, you’ll need to soak your plank for two hours. You can do that while your meat is happily marinating in the fridge.
Maple Planked Pork Chops with Rosemary and Lemon – Williams-Sonoma
- 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary, plus two whole sprigs
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 boneless pork chops, each 8 oz.
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, combine the chopped rosemary, olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Place the pork chops in a baking dish or resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the chops, coating them evenly. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
Meanwhile, soak the maple grilling plank according to the package instructions (2 hours).
Prepare a medium-low to medium fire in a grill. Place the plank on the grill and close the lid. When the plank begins to smoke, place the two whole sprigs of rosemary on the plank, then top each sprig with a pork chop. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the grill and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 145 degrees, 15-20 minutes (mine took about 10 minutes more). To create grill marks on the chops, transfer them from the plank directly to the grill grates and cook for 1 minute more, per side.
Transfer to a warmed plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.