One of the ways I love to make great barbecue meat is to create a fantastic rub that has a little bit of sugar to help with browning, then I finish the dish over low heat so that the sugar won’t char on the outside. In this recipe, coat the pork chop with cocoa and chile powders for that acts like a version of Mexican mole sauce. Texas is a mecca for American classic barbecue and Mexican flavors to marry. The Cocoa and chiles add a light yet appealing bitterness to this spicy rub. Chile heads, Mexican cuisine fans, and good ole Texas barbecue fans can celebrate eating the same dish.
This recipe is adapted for a large barbecue party. So, if you are looking to have a smaller affair just cut the recipe in half.
- 4 quarts water
- 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- kosher salt
- eight 1 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork loin chops
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
- In a large bowl, combine the water with the red pepper and 3 teaspoons of salt and stir until the salt completely dissolves. Add the pork chops and allow it to brine at room temperature for at least one hour. (You can place in the fridge and allow to brine for up to 8 hours).
- Using a grill you need to prepare for direct and indirect grilling. This requires a cool zone. (Charcoal grills, move the coals to one side; for the gas grill type just leave one side unlit.)
- In a bowl, mix the cocoa, sugar and the acho powder with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt.
- Drain the pork chops and pat dry with kitchen paper, ensure that you remove any bits of crushed pepper. Brush the chops generously with olive oil. Roll the chops in the rub and use your hands to pat to adhere. Grill the chops over moderately high heat for about 5 minutes a side, turning the chops only once until lightly browned. Transfer the chops over to your cool zone and cover the grill for about 15 minutes. Insert an instant-read thermometer in the center of the chops reads 135 degrees F for medium.
- Allow the chops to rest under tented foil for 10 minutes before serving.