Grilled Boneless Pork Chops with Lemon, Garlic, and Sage
(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites August 2009) This recipe is a perfect way to use those thick lean boneless pork chops which tend to be dry if you cook them without marinating. (All you Costco shoppers know the ones I mean.) It’s also a recipe for people who really like sage, so if you’re not really a sage fan, I recommend using less, or check the Grilling category for a different recipe for grilled pork chops. My original photo for this recipe had pretty lame grill marks, but I was much happier with the marks above that I got from my new natural gas grill! (The grill in that picture really is exactly like mine.)
I first made this in 2007, and the recipe was inspired by one I saw in Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook. This is a book I pull out every summer and discover more recipes to try. The book is so old you can buy used copies of Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook at Amazon.com for less than $5.00. (Full disclosure: Kalyn’s Kitchen does earn a few cents on the dollar if you follow that link and buy the book.) Their recipe had fried sage which some people would think is more trouble than it’s worth, and I used rubbed sage from Penzeys. If you have sage in your garden though, fried sage would be perfect with this.If you’re using those thick loin chops, they’ll turn out better if they’re pounded before you marinate them. I trimmed all the fat and then pounded the chops until they were about 1/2 inch thick.
If you want grill marks, preheat the grill to high, then turn the heat to medium high when you rotate the pork chops after the first grill marks appear. This usually takes about 4 minutes, but lift one pork to check before you rotate.
4 thick boneless pork chops
2-3 T fresh lemon juice (I would use 3 T, but I really like lemon)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. rubbed sage (or use 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage, use less sage if you’re not crazy about sage)
2 tsp. garlic puree (pureed garlic, also called ground garlic)
2 tsp. dried shallots (I love the dried shallots from Penzeys for marinades, but you could use 1 T minced fresh shallots or 1 tsp. onion powder)
fresh ground pepper to taste, about 1/4 tsp.
Trim all fat around edges of pork chops, then put chops one at a time inside a thick ziploc bag and use meat mallet or something heavy to pound until they are about 1/2 inch thick.If using dried shallots, crush them a bit before adding to marinade. Combine all marinade ingredients in measuring cup. Put pork chops in large ziploc bag, pour marinade in and marinate in refrigerator at least 4 hours, but all day is better.
To cook, preheat charcoal or gas grill to high. (You can only hold your hand there for 1-2 seconds.) Put chops diagonally on grill and cook 4-5 minutes, then rotate pork chops and turn down heat to medium high. (I usually lift them up and check for grill marks to tell when to rotate.) Cook 4-5 minutes more, then check for grill marks and if they are browned to your liking, turn over and cook 3-5 minutes more on the second side.Cooking time will depend on the heat of your grill, but total time is probably less than 15 minutes. Pork chops are done when they feel firm, but not hard, to the touch and are well browned. If you have an instant-read meat thermometer, use it to check for doneness. Serve hot.
South Beach Suggestions:
Lean pork chops like this are perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, eat it with something like Grilled Asparagus with Double Lemon and Parmesan and Mary’s Perfect Salad. For phase two or three, you could add Brown and Wild Rice with Pine Nuts and Thyme.