As a child there was only one thing I detested more than meatloaf… the dreaded pork chop. It was always tough, dried out white discs that begged for any some kind of sauce. I remember trying to slice the fat rind into as many small pieces as possible so I got a piece with every bite. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with it except being cooked to death and if I only have two meals I distinctly remember not liking out of a childhood full of home cooked meals I truly have nothing to complain about. Still, to this day I refuse to buy pork loin unless I’m stuffing it with something. I rarely buy pork chops either, but cruising through the meat isle yesterday grocery shopping I found a few packages of thick, bone-in stuffing pork chops. Chops that are as thick and yummy looking as these are a rare find here, so a few packages went in the cart.
Bringing home some thick cut pork chops is all well and good but now what to do with them? After a little (ok a lot) of deliberation, I settled on a recipe in one of my culinary arts books and adapted it for what I had in the kitchen. It turned out splendid! I paired these Brazilian chops with roasted cherry tomatoes and a baby potato veggie medley. It really hit the spot with the wet weather we’ve been having recently. The pork has to marinate at least 8 hours, so a little planning is required, but it was totally worth it! Ready? I apologize in advance for the lack of photos this week. I got excited (and hungry) and didn’t get as many as normal.
Get the pork chops started first. You will need 1 large jalapeño pepper minced (I used 4 because mine were super tiny from our garden), 2-4 thick cut pork chops, 1 Tbs fresh thyme, 5 tsp salt, 1 Tbs black pepper, 1/2 cup olive oil, and 2 medium clove garlic, minced.
Combine the salt, thyme, pepper, olive oil, and garlic and mix well. Most of the time when I make marinades, I throw everything in the food processor. It’s just easier. Rinse the chops and pat dry with a paper towel. Put pork chops in a ziplock bag and pour in marinade. Seal and refrigerate 8-24 hours.
About 30 minutes before cooking, pull the chops out to allow them to come to room temp. Time to get the tomatoes going!
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine one pint cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 3 Tbs olive oil. Mix well and pour on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
Yum! They look so good 🙂
While the tomatoes are in their last 20 minutes cooking, preheat the grill and grill the pork chops until lightly charred and the center reads 145 degrees. Allow the chops to rest 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Plate and enjoy! Here’s the printable. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!