For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Julie’s Little Bit of Everything blog. I enjoyed perusing her blog because we have a lot in common: 50-something Midwesterners who love to cook (and collect cook books), enjoy traveling, gardening, and spending time with our hubbys. And, Julie lives in Omaha, where I lived for many years.
A number of things jumped out at me (peach caprese salad, but December is not the time for fresh peaches in St. Louis), baked acorn squash with apple filling, and lots of sweets that Craig would have loved (but not our Weight Watchers point counting), including mint filled brownie cupcakes and spicy chocolate pots de creme. I have noticed a number of bloggers, Julie included, have a “My 50”, a culinary bucket list of things they intend to make and proceed to then cross them off. I was inspired to join in the fun and challenge myself, which resulted in me making Julia Child’s pate a choux with crème patissiere for a New Year’s Eve party. Now I need to come up with my other 49 things!
I digress. I settled on her molasses coffee marinated pork chops. Since I rarely make pork chops, and I’m not sure why I don’t since these were a big hit, pretty healthy, quick aside from marinating, and very easy. From an Alton Brown recipe, the glaze on the grilled chops is rich and thickens nicely as it cooks down. Thanks, Julie, for sharing!
I made the recipe with only one change. St. Louis is enough of a “Southern” town that I always have local sorghum in the pantry, and I substituted it for the molasses. When he was home from New York over Christmas, Connor shared that his classmates at the CIA didn’t know what sorghum is, and if you don’t know either, you should. People think of it as synonymous with molasses, but not true. Sorghum is the syrup produced when the extracted juice from the sorghum is boiled down, whereas molasses is a leftover, by-product of the sugar industry. Sorghum is highly nutritional and contains iron, calcium, and potassium. It has uses beyond baked in ginger snap cookies or as a topping for buttermilk pancakes, and it is a tangy/sweet addition in savory dishes like these pork chops, stir-frys, and tremendous in baked beans. Seek it out, and as always, local is best.
Molasses Coffee Marinated Pork Chops
1 cup cool strong coffee
6 ounces sorghum, by weight
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6 to 8-ounce) bone-in, 1-inch thick pork chops
Place all of the ingredients into a 1-gallon zip top bag, seal, and shake to combine. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and boil gently, stirring often, until reduced to about 1/2 cup liquid, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the thyme stems after the glaze has reduced.
Meanwhile, grill pork chops 3 to 4 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Allow the pork chops to rest 4 to 5 minutes before serving with the glaze.