Stop the presses!
You have to make this. And by have to, I mean you MUST. It has the perfect balance of smokiness, deep flavor, and punch.
And for all of you who don’t have a grill and live in apartments, don’t be deterred! We only have a small smoker box (which you can get from amazon for $40), which we use on our stove and it works beautifully. You could skip the smoking, but it definitely adds a great layer of flavor.
This recipe is adapted with peaches because we couldn’t get apricots at the store. Also, if you want a little heat, put a few of the jalapeño seeds into the chutney.
GREAT for any gathering, but also, as we did, good for a regular dinner.
Note: There is brining involved, but if you plan a little ahead it’s not a big deal. When it came down to it, it really didn’t take a lot of time to make everything. Honest.
Adapted from the food for my family blog
4 thick-cut pork chops
4 cups water
275 grams of kosher salt (weight really is the best method here)
250 grams of brown sugar
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon thyme
2 cloves garlic crushed
12 cups of very cold water or ice equivalent
1 1/2 cups jalapeño apricot chutney, recipe below
Brining instructions: Heat 4 cups of water in a saucepan and dissolve salt and sugar, adding sage and thyme along the way. Add mixture to a bowl with a lid or a large zip-top bag and add garlic and enough cold water or ice to make one gallon. Refrigerate the brine if necessary so that the mixture is completely cold. Add the pork chops and allow them to soak in the cold brine for 24 hours.
Day of: After 24 hours, remove the chops from the brine, rinse with cold water and dry thoroughly. Place on a smoker or modified grill at 230° F for 30 minutes. Flip and allow to continue to smoke until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (approximately 20-30 minutes). Remove from the grill and allow to rest. Serve with warm chutney.
Jalapeño Apricot Chutney
8 apricots, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 jalapeños, seeded and diced
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grill apricots over medium heat until golden brown. Cool slightly and dice. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté red pepper, red onion and jalapeños for 2-3 minutes. Add in apricots, white wine vinegar, water, maple syrup, thyme and salt and simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens to a syrup. Keep warm and serve over smoked pork chops.
Makes 4-6 Servings