From Denny: Down South we love to grill and cook meat dishes with beer! It's become so popular nationwide that even the meat producers have polished some great recipes for us to enjoy.
The first recipe is ridiculously simple and quick to prepare. All you do is marinate with Italian dressing and fresh herbs of your choice and grill.
Since pork is coming into season this fall making it easier on the budget, now is the time to try your hand at something new! This second recipe is perfect for a Sunday dinner with family or for the holidays if you don't feel like cooking a large turkey because there are just the two of you. The pairing of cranberries and orange juice with pork is always a winner taste combination. I'll even throw in a small amount of garlic to counterbalance that tart and citrus taste though this recipe does not call for it.
The third recipe is a real show stopper! It's an OMG on the calorie meter but worth it because it combines the melting of fontina cheese, hickory-smoked bacon and onions sauteed until soft and sweet in a flavorful beer. This kind of "stuffing" helps to keep lean pork moist during the cooking process.
Pork is such a versatile and easy meat to cook for great flavor that can be short on time in this time conscious world. Also included are a few tips and suggestions about preparation and cooking.
Bon Appetit and Happy Grilling!
Herbed Pork Chops
From: Pork Information Bureau
4 (3/4-inch thick) pork chops
1 cup reduced-fat Italian dressing
2 tbls. chopped fresh herbs (chives, basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary — any combination)
1. Place chops into a resealable plastic bag. Add dressing and herbs; seal and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.
2. Remove chops from marinade; discard marinade.
3. Grill chops over medium-high heat (or broil 4 inches from heat) for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 170 calories, 6 grams fat, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 360 milligrams sodium and 1 gram carbohydrates.
Autumn Glazed Pork Chops
4 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup apple cider or juice
1/2 cup whole-cranberry sauce
2 tbls. honey
2 tbls. frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of chops with pepper and salt, if desired. Brown chops on each side in hot skillet. Add apple cider or juice. Cover tightly; cook over low heat for 5 or 6 minutes or until chops are just done. Drain off juices.
2. In a small bowl, combine cranberry sauce, honey, orange juice concentrate, ginger and nutmeg. Pour over chops. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes or until heated through.
Stuffed Pork Chops With Beer-Glazed Onions
From: National Pork Board
Yield: 4. “A simple, but flavorful stuffing is a great way to keep chops ultra moist and flavorful while grilling. This stuffing delivers an intense trio of tastes by combining sautéed bacon, fontina cheese and meltingly tender beer-glazed onions.”
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tbl. oil
1 tbl. brown sugar
1/3 cup beer (OR white wine if you prefer)
In medium skillet, cook and stir onion in oil until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in brown sugar; cook for 2 minutes to caramelize. Stir in beer; simmer for 5 minutes or until there is no liquid. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
For pork chops:
4 slices hickory-smoked or peppered bacon
4 ozs. fontina or white Cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
4 bone-in rib pork chops (1-1/2 inches thick)
Salt and pepper
1. Cook bacon in skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels; crumble and add to Beer-Glazed Onions mixture. Stir in cheese; set aside.
2. Prepare pork chops for stuffing by inserting sharp paring or boning knife through side of each chop until tip touches bone. Carefully cut opening to width of about 1 inch. Swing knife tip through chop to create pocket, being careful not to widen opening. Turn knife and swing blade in opposite direction to make finished pocket as large as possible.
3. Divide Beer-Glazed Onions mixture among 4 chops (about 1/4 cup stuffing for each.) Carefully stuff the mixture into the center of each chop. Season both sides of chop with salt and pepper.
4. Preheat grill to 400 to 450 degrees. Spray chops lightly with nonstick cooking spray; place over hot grill. Cover and cook for 8 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees using an instant-read thermometer. Remove from grill; cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Useful tips about pork:
■ A spicy mustard, honey and vinegar mixture makes a wonderful marinade or sauce for pork chops.
■ Baste with thick sweet sauce only 5 to 10 minutes before chops are done. This prevents burning sugar-based sauces.
■ For easy preparation and cleanup, place chops in a resealable plastic bag, then pour in marinade. Turn bag frequently. Discard leftover marinade.
■ Pork chops absorb flavor of marinades and rubs in as little as 30 minutes.
■ Chops will have a slight blush of pink in the center when they are done. To be sure that you cook them perfectly to medium doneness, use a meat thermometer and cook to 160 degrees.
■ Spice up barbecue sauce with a splash of horseradish or stir in your favorite jam or preserves.
■ Make an extra chop or two for sandwiches or salad toppers the next day.