Spice-Crusted Thick Rib Pork Chops

Published6/24/2009 12:02 AM


1 tablespoon red pepper flakes


2 tablespoons boiling water

4 cups apple cider

2 cups cool water

cup kosher salt

cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

4 garlic cloves, minced

6 pork rib chops, 11/2-inch-thick, 8-10 ounces each


2 tablespoons mild chili powder

2 tablespoons mustard powder

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon honey

1 medium shallot, peeled and finely grated

1 small garlic clove, minced

cup canola or vegetable oil

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

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1 bunch thyme sprigs, tied together in a bundle

Fleur de sel or kosher salt

Finely ground black pepper

For the brine: In a large bowl, combine the red pepper flakes and boiling water. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes to rehydrate the flakes. Add the cider, cool water, salt, brown sugar and garlic. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Place the chops in an extra-large zip-close plastic bag (or divide between 2 large bags). Pour the brine over the chops, squeeze out any excess air, then seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 1 day.

When ready to cook, heat one grate of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to medium-high and the other to medium-low.

For the seasoning blend: In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, mustard powder, garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne. Set aside.

For the dressing: In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, honey, shallot and garlic. Shake well, then set aside.


Remove the pork chops from the brine, letting any excess brine remain in the bag. Lightly pat dry the chops with paper towels. Sprinkle the seasoning blend evenly on all sides of the chops.

Using your hands or a brush, evenly but lightly coat the chops with the canola oil.

Place the chops on the medium-high grate, and grill with the lid open until they are well marked and lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip, still over medium-high, to a clean part of the grate, then grill with the lid open for another 3 minutes.

Brush the chops with butter using the thyme bundle. Move to the medium-low grate and close the lid. Open the lid every few minutes, turning and moving the chops as needed.

Cook for about 9 minutes for medium, about 12 minutes for medium well, and about 15 minutes for well-done. Remove from the heat and brush with butter using the thyme bundle.

Give the dressing a quick shake and drizzle about half on a cutting board. Top with the chops and let rest for about 5 minutes.

Cut the chops to separate the meat from the bone and slice the meat on a diagonal into 1/4-inch slices, drizzling with the remaining dressing, and making sure all slices are coated. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper.

Serves eight.

"Serious Barbecue" by Adam Perry Lang (2009 Hyperion)

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