Throwing a pork chop on the grill is such a quick meal, but sometimes they can get a bit dry. I found this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated that suggests brining it to help it hold on to its juices during cooking. To get a nice brown crust before the chop overcooks, they suggest smearing an anchovy-based paste on it. The anchovy paired with the honey kick-starts the browning to give the chop a crisp, burnished crust in record time. They also listed an onion and olive relish to top it with which I also made. We enjoyed the relish, but even if I am not making the relish I will do my pork chops this way when I am grilling them.
3 (6-8 oz) boneless pork chops, ¾ to 1” thick, trimmed
3 TB salt
1 TB olive oil
1-1/2 t. honey
1 t. anchovy paste (comes in a tube)
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
Onion-Olive Relish*, optional
Cut 2 slits about 1” apart through outer layer of fat and connective tissue on each chop to prevent buckling. Dissolve salt in 1-1/2 qts cold water in large container. Submerge chops in brine and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat your gas grill on high for about 15 minutes. Leave the primary burner on high and turn off other burners.
Whisk oil, honey, anchovy paste, and pepper together to form smooth paste. Remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Using spoon, spread half of oil mixture evenly over 1 side of each chop (about ¼ t. per side).
Oil cooking grate. Place chops, oiled side down, voer hotter side of grill and cook, uncovered, until well browned on first side, 4-6 minutes. While chops are grilling, spread remaining oil mixture evenly over second side of chops. Flip chops and continue to cook until chops register 140 degrees, 4-6 minutes longer. (If chops are well browned but register less than 140 degrees, move to cooler side of grill to finish cooking.) Transfer chops to plate and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
2 TB olive oil
1 onion, diced
¼ c. pitted kalamata olives, chopped coarsely
2 TB rinsed capers, optional
1-1/2 TB balsamic vinegar
1 TB minced fresh parsley
½ t. sugar
¼ t. anchovy paste
¼ t. freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 TB oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer onion mixture to a small bowl; stir in olives, capers if using, vinegar, parsley, sugar, anchovy paste, pepper, salt and remaining 1TB oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.