Understand that when the Accidental Locavore invites you over for dinner, it’s usually to be a guinea pig for whatever has been on my radar. And in the summer especially, one thing usually leads to another. I’d been wanting to try a pork chop recipe with pickled peaches I saw in Food & Wine so it was a good excuse to have a couple of friends over for a grilled dinner. While the surprise hit of the evening was the grilled Caesar Salad, these pork chops were awfully good! This serves 4. You need about 2 hours to make it, but it’s mostly for the peaches to pickle (which can be done in advance).
Grilled Pork Chops With Pickled Peaches
For the peaches:
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 4 large ripe but firm peaches, pitted and cut into ½” dice (I mixed yellow and white peaches)
For the pork chops:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 20 small sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon chopped sage
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- Four 1’ thick bone-in pork chops, about 10 ounces each
In a large saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Put the diced peaches in a large heat-proof bowl and pour the hot brine over them. Let stand for 1 hour, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a week.
In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, the chopped sage, the ground pepper and a heaping tablespoon kosher salt. Rub over the pork chops and let stand for 30 minutes.
While the pork chops are marinating, light the grill. Then, in a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over moderate heat. Add the sage leaves and fry until crisp, about 1 minute per side. Put them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Set aside for garnishing the pork.
Grill the pork chops over a medium-high fire for about 8 minutes a side (with an instant-read thermometer, the internal temperature should be 145 degrees). Transfer to a plate and let rest for 3 minutes.
To serve: put a pork chop on each plate. Using a slotted spoon, top each chop with about ½ cup of the pickled peaches. Garnish with the fried sage leaves, serve and enjoy!
Kudos to Frank for perfectly grilling the chops! This was delicious! Meaty pork chops with the tangy peaches. The recipe makes more peaches then we used for four chops so later on in the week, I made it again, this time pan-frying them as per the original recipe. They were good, but better grilled (isn’t everything?). This would also work with any other stone fruit — apricots would be great or a mix of peaches, plums and apricots and try substituting veal or lamb chops for the pork.