Grilled Pork Chops and Peaches
It’s almost Father’s Day and the perfect time to share this delish, dad approved recipe. There is nothing that my own dad loves more than a grilled pork chop- it’s his special request on repeat for each and every family get together. “Pork Chop” was under serious consideration for his grandfather name before we went with Rico instead. These juicy Grilled Pork Chops with Peaches are a Rico fave! To be honest, I had never really been a pork chop person before starting to cook them for my father. I always ignored them if they were on a restaurant menu and used to walk right past them at the grocery store. After sampling a few scorched, tough pork chops in my past, I prematurely wrote them off as “meh”… boy had I been missing out. Pork chops cooked correctly are divine! However, they are very easy to overcook so there is a fine line between a succulent chop and a leathery one. I almost always use a meat thermometer when grilling easy to dry out cuts like pork chops and make sure to pull them off the grill right at 140° (or even a hair under that if you plan to let these rest longer than 10 minutes). It’s perfectly fine for pork to be a tinge pink inside! Also, if you have the time, marinading these overnight helps to get them extra tender and infused with added flavor. Pork chops tend to be a little bland, so it’s best to season them very well. The marinade here is simple and savory- all you need is garlic, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. When working on this recipe, I was inspired by Francis Mallman’s “peached pork” from Seven Fires, his amazing debut cookbook. His version calls for a butterflied pork loin, but I simplified with chops instead. You want to make sure to buy extra thick ones- thinner chops are not ideal for grilling as they dry out quickly. Save them for the stovetop. Peaches and pork always make a lovely couple, and here sweet, summertime peaches act as a jammy condiment for savory, juicy pork chops. If your peaches look a little burnt in places, not to worry- that’s what you want! Those little charred bits are spots of pure concentrated peachiness. Selecting peaches can be tricky and some are easier to pit than others- I had to use a paring knife on the the ones in the above picture. If you can find “freestone” peaches, they will be the easiest to pit. My suggestion is to buy a few extra and snack on the ones that don’t give as easily! And if you can only find smaller peaches (such as our own Fredericksburg variety), halve and pit 4 for the grill. When it comes time to chow, portion one pork chop and one (or two if small) peach halves per person and encourage diners to top their bite of chop with little charred peach. This one is for the dads and those that love them!
prep time: 15 min., plus at least 2 hrs marinating time cook time: ~15 min. serves: 4
INGREDIENTS 4 thick cut boneless pork chops (1-1/2”-2” thick, about 2 lbs total)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, grated
1 tbsp minced rosemary
2 large ripe peaches (or 4 smaller ones), halved and pitted
Combine the olive oil, 2-1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, grated garlic and rosemary in a bowl and mix to combine. Place the pork chops in a zip top bag and pour in the marinade. Squeeze all the air out of the bag, seal the top, and massage marinade all over the chops. Let them chill in the fridge at least 2 hrs, preferably overnight.
Pull the pork chops out of fridge to come to room temperature for 45 min while you prep grill. Halve and pit the peaches if you have not already done so, drizzle the flesh sides with olive oil and season with a few cranks of salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to 400° and oil the grate. Pull the pork out of marinade and season with a little more salt and pepper on both sides. Place the chops on grill and cook about 7 minutes on first side, flipping and cooking another 5-7 minutes on the second or until internal temperature is 140°. Meanwhile, place the peaches on the grill flesh side down to cook 5-7 min, until softened and charred in spots. Remove pork and peaches to a platter to rest 10 minutes. Serve warm, portioning a chop and a peach half per person.