The Summer Grilled Pork Odyssey
7/25/2012 8:24:00 PM
Summer Grilled Pork
This is one of those recipes that I saw in the book and thought “I am ready to do this. I can do it…I really should do this…” and then I kept picking other recipes. Then I’d go back and be like “Ya know, I really should do this pork…”
Since I had cooked some other pork recipes recently (Pesto Grilled Pork and Saigon Subs – which is pulled pork) I thought it was about time to conquer this one.
And now that I finally have a GRILL. Yes – a grill…outside of my house…where you can go cook in the air and the elements…I figured I was good to go.
Here is the story of the grill. Ever since I moved to Sonoma County from the East Bay (back in ’02) my father (you know him as NASCAR Dad) has been suggesting I get a grill. I have lived in 4 places…and at each place, he has wanted me to get a grill. He would suggest ALLLL of the things you could make on the grill. Hamburgers, shrimp, chicken. At some of these places, I lived alone and I would be like “dad, I live alone, barbecuing for yourself is depressing…”
So FINALLY, this past Father’s Day, we got my dad a grill…for MY house! Yes, I did the whole thing where I bought someone else a present for me.
So, we go and pick it out and they tell us it will take “20 minutes to put together.” Ok fine. We bring it home, it sits in my garage for a few weeks, I come back from vacation, my parents come up for a visit…and they decide to put the bbq together.
This thing was apparently going to take a LOT longer than 20 minutes…it turned into an all-day odyssey while I was at work and then at the dentist office. They finally gave up, boxed the thing up, took it back to the store, and asked the store to put it together.
But wait, there’s more. The grill was going to be ready later that day. So after a nap and a visit with a friend, we all pile into the family truckster to get this grill. Now, the family truckster is basically a brown sedan – and our goal was to stick the grill into the trunk and bring it across Windsor to my house.
I was kinda nervous about this as I figured the thing would fall off somewhere along Hembree Lane and break into a million pieces. But, somehow with the help of bungee cords (that I paid 8 bucks for) we got the thing back to my house and up the stairs.
After a healthy amount of family drama trying to light the thing (apparently the switch on those grills like NEVER work and you have to “match light” them all the time) we got it lit.
Ironically, we went out for sandwiches that night for dinner.
BUT just a couple of short days and a few swear words later (trying to light the bbq again, stomping my foot and saying I never wanted it in the first place, even though it belongs to my dad and then I was being paranoid about propane) I ventured to make the Summer Grilled Pork.
Let me post the recipe here so you can see what I was working with:
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
4 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick
10 slices bacon, thick cut, applewood smoked or regular (about 12 ounces)
3 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, thinly cut
1/4 cup artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
2 tablespoons pickled jalapenos, sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1/2 cup beer , (IPA-style preferred)
Salt and pepper
Pound out each pork chop between two pieces of plastic wrap until 1/4 inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Preheat grill to medium.
On a large sheet of aluminum foil, lay out bacon strips vertically, overlapping them by 1/4 inch. Arrange the pork chops in one layer over the bacon. Spread a thin 2-inch wide layer of cream cheese horizontally across the portion of the pork closest to you. On top of the cream cheese, evenly distribute the bread crumbs, roasted pepper, artichokes, and jalapeños. Starting with the edge closest to you, carefully roll the pork into a cylinder, lifting the foil to keep it outside the roll. Drizzle the vinegar over the bacon and close the foil tightly to keep the cylindrical shape.
In a small skillet over medium heat, combine the honey, mustard and beer. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, until reduced by one-third and thickened. Set aside half of the sauce for serving and the other half for basting.
Place the foil-covered cylinder on the grill and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on each of the four sides. Remove the foil and crisp the bacon on the grill, turning four times and basting with the honey-mustard sauce at each turn. After basting, remove from grill when instant-read thermometer in the middle of the meat registers 140 degrees F, about 5 to 6 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
To serve, cut into 3/4 inch slices and drizzle with remaining honey-mustard sauce.
Yield: 4 main course servings or 8 appetizer servings
NOW to make myself feel a little less guilty (about the meal, not the cursing at the bbq) I used turkey bacon and light cream cheese. I made the mistake of spreading the cream cheese over the meat and then sticking the knife back in the tub. If you do this – be SURE you throw the tub of cream cheese away when you are done, so you don’t have raw meat bacteria on the cream cheese you want to put on your bagel the next morning. (btw, I did throw the tub away…not reusing the cream cheese)
I laid out my bacon and my pork chops very nicely in a row on the tin foil and proceeded to put the ingredients in them, then I carefully rolled it all up. I think this was my first time rolling anything in tin foil before cooking and of COURSE I got a hole in the stupid foil.
I brought the long cylinder out to the grill and realized it was TOO LONG! I am telling you it was like 2 feet! So I put it on the grill diagonally. This seemed to work fine, but I was plagued by that hole in the foil, this on top of the fact that I couldn’t remember what side I had grilled (each side needed to be grilled for 7 minutes or so) this became challenging…and actually kind of amusing.
A couple of times, I tried to stop and cover the hole with another piece of tinfoil. But of course, the meat cylinder thingy was very HOT and I was afraid of lighting my oven mitts on fire (seriously) So – I turn the grill off and have to go through a whole hassle of lighting it again (I think I need some new and better lighters…these things are kinda wimpy)
FINALLY – I got the grill back on and stopped the drips from coming out of the stupid foil-hole.
At the end of the recipe, you have to take off the foil and grill it. But I decided for my first time grilling, this would be too messy…so I brought “The Beast” inside and finished it on a grill pan.
After ALL the fixing holes, trying to prevent fire, swear words and absurdity – this turned out to be an AMAZING recipe. Absolutely wonderful. This could be one of those signature recipes that I make for people when they come over. Amazing and smelled great too – and could really impress people!
So – a word to the wise…if you are going to make this, divide everything in half and make TWO cylinders. It’s way easier to handle.
BTW - when I showed Rob the pics of the pork...he said "It looks like somebody's leg"
Another BTW - the stuff next to the pork is summer squash.
As for grilling…I actually…kinda like it. It’s a whole new world! Just don’t tell my dad that…don’t want him to know he was right for the past 10 years.