Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grilled Pork Chops with Molasses and Balsamic Glaze

I love and hate grilling season. Love the fact that grilling season represents the lovely summer months after the snow laden winter here in New England. Hate the fact that my limited grilling ideas for meat caused a repetition of recipes more often than I would have like. Not that there aren't a multitude of grilling marinades, sauces and dry rub to choose from, I am constraint with the fact that my mom is a finicky eater. She likes everything plain while my husband, dad and myself love flavor.

Combining molasses and balsamic vinegar has always been a great idea for grilling. I can only imagine the wonders of a sweet tang marinade can do to anything on the grill. After I saw this recipe on Cafe Sucre, I can't help myself but to go ahead and try it even if mom disapproves. I am glad I did. The result was a superbly flavored pork chops that everyone loves. One more great grilling marinade to add to my collection.

Grilled Pork Chops with Molasses and Balsamic Glaze
(Adapted from Cafe Sucre)
4 bone-in pork chops, about 1 1/2 inch thick
3 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp brown sugar
Enough water to cover pork chops

For the Molasses and Balsamic Glaze
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, peel and smashed  with the back of a knife
2 cups chicken stock  (low sodium)
1/2 cup molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Step 1: Prepare the brine for the pork by combining the salt and brown sugar in a big bowl. Add enough water to cover the pork chops. Submerge the pork chops into the brine. Leave in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Step 2: Prepare the marinade/glaze. Combine balsamic vinegar, thyme, rosemary, garlic and onion in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat till mixture comes up to a boil. Continue to boil for 10 minutes till vinegar is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Add in chicken stock into the mixture. Cook over high heat for 20 minutes till reduced to about 2/3 cup. Strain vinegar to remove herbs, garlic and onion.

Step 3: Return strained vinegar into the saucepan.

Step 4: Add in mustard, crushed red peppers and molasses. Set aside to cool.

Step 5: Once glaze is cool enough, add about 2/3 cup of the glaze to the pork chops to use as marinade. Marinade pork chops in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before grilling.

Step 6: Preheat grill to 450F. Grill pork chops till cooked, basting occasionally with the leftover marinade.

Step 7: Serve pork chops with the reserved glaze, grilled vegetables and a nice cold pasta salad.

1 comment:

  1. Your molasses and balsamic glaze sounds yummy. I've never used molasses in a marinade before. Thanks for sharing this one, Reese.