Ingredients:

  • 4 double-cut pork loin chops
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 sweet onion (like Vidalia or Walla Walla), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 4, 1/4-inch-thick slices tart, sweet apple (like Granny Smith or Winesap)
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple butter

This recipe contains: Meat, Pork

Recipe notes: Winesap apples are one of the last varieties to come to market in the fall. Look for them toward the end of October. Granny Smith apples, despite their Grand Ole Opry-sounding name, originated in New South Wales, Australia, on the farm of Maria Ann Smith around 1860. The apple does not grow true to seed. To produce true descendants, apples are grown from rooting a branch or grafting. Every Granny Smith apple in the world can be traced back to Granny Smith's tree.

RECIPE

Apple-Grilled Double-Cut Pork Chops

Martha Hall Foose

Adapted from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook (Clarkson Potter, 2008)

Ask your butcher for 2-inch-thick center-cut pork loin chops. A slice of seasoned tart apple tucked in the center infuses them with sweetness, as does a brush of apple butter when they're hot off the grill.

Yield: 4 servings

Method:

With a sharp boning knife, cut a slit in the side of each chop, forming a pocket midway through the chop. Season each chop inside and out with salt and pepper.

Set a grill rack 6 to 8 inches above the coals or heat source and heat the grill to medium.

In a skillet set on the grates of the grill, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onion and rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the onion is very tender and caramelized; season with salt and pepper. Remove to a dish to cool slightly.

Rub the surface of the apple slices with brown sugar. Insert one slice of apple into the pocket of each chop. Add one quarter of the cooked onion mixture to the pocket, too.

When ready to grill, you should be able to hold your palm over the grill for 3 seconds and there should be a light ash coating on the coals. Grill the chops for 6 minutes. Rotate the chops a quarter-turn and grill for 4 to 6 minutes more. Flip the chops and repeat. Cook until an internal temperature of 150ºF is reached. Remove the chops from the grill and brush with apple butter before serving.