It Was A Pork Kinda Weekend...

It Was A Pork Kinda Weekend…

Another on-again, off-again rain weekend. We did get a chance to get our invitations stuffed and they're going in the mail this week! They were a bit more labor-intensive that I'd expected. We had them professionally printed, but did the assembly ourselves. We are also SO impressed with the work the calligrapher did on the addresses. If you're interested, be sure to check out her work. After a really impressive brunch at one of our favorite spots (they deserve their own post at some point), we drove to Maryville to visit a new butcher shop that we see active on Facebook a lot, The Local Butcher Shop. These guys know their stuff! They were extremely helpful and spoke with us about the heritage pork that they use, their curing techniques, different cuts of bacon and pork chops... oh yeah, they have lots of other stuff like beef, duck, cured meats, local bread, gifts, etc... but this was a pork kind of weekend, remember!
Duroc Heritage Chops

Duroc Heritage Chops

We selected a couple Duroc Heritage Pork Chops that were just amazing. Also in our bag was some unsmoked bacon and house-made pastrami. The chops were almost an inch thick and had about an inch of firm fat on the outer edge. This is a real deal folks! They kindly offered to trim the fat, but we had it left on and trimmed it ourselves (this eventually became dog treats as we rendered out the fat and were left with crunch cracklin's that our dogs went nuts over. And the drippings became cooking medium for everything else the rest of the weekend.).
Radishes on the grill

Radishes on the grill

IMG_1029Now, what do we do with these guys?? We decided on grilling over a thick cloud of hickory smoke. The fire marshall was probably alerted to what was going on in our back yard because of all the smoke and flames. There was so much wonderful drippings wasted falling into the fire, it looked like napalm. We had some radishes that were almost too peppery to eat alone so we decided to throw those on the grill with just salt pepper and grapeseed oil. Have you tried grilled radishes? They're great. And in the case of these, the grilling reduced the pepperiness and they were to mellow and earthy. We treated the asparagus the same way and finished it off with a couple drops of apple cider gastrique.      

Springtime on a plate!

Mustard Grilled Heritage Pork Chops
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  1. Two heritage pork chops at room temp
  2. 3TB of a good quality rustic mustard
  3. 1/2tsp olive oil
  4. Honey, agave, or sugar
  5. Salt & pepper to taste
  6. 3 Rosemary sprigs
  7. 1 clove garlic, finely minces
For Gastrique
  1. 3TB Sugar
  2. 3TB Apple cider vinegar
  1. Really simple guys, and adjust recipe to taste. Finely chop the leaves from one sprig of rosemary. Combine this with the rest of the ingredients. Adjust to taste. Heat one side of the grill to high (if you don't have different sectors, just push the coals to one side or adjust the temp after searing). Salt and pepper the room temperature chops. Throw them on the hot side of the grill. And sear a couple minutes, turn 90° and sear another minute or two until nice grill marks are visible. Flip and repeat. Rub a generous amount of the mustard sauce on the already cooked side. Once the other side is seared either reduce the temp to medium or move to the cooler side of the grill. Cook (flipping occasionally (don't keep flipping over and over! give it some time) until at 180° for well-done. Many people now like their pork medium rare. If that's the case, cook to desired doneness. During the cooking process, I laid another sprig of rosemary on each chop for additional flavor.
For Gastrique
  1. Place sugar in small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until sugar starts to melt. Stir until sugar is a deep golden color... about 5 min. Gradually add vinegar. The mix may get hard at this point. Don't despair, it'll re-melt. Cook until it is smooth, about a minute. Cook until reduced to about 1/2. You could flavor this with many things (orange juice, apple juice, cherrie juice, broth, beer, chewing tobacco...oh wait, getting carried away) but we left ours simple.
  2. And that's it. Plate the chop, asparagus and radishes and add just a few drops of the gastrique to the plate.
Just a touch of gastrique

Just a touch of gastrique

  Oh and by the way, the pastrami and bacon were excellent as well! Oink oink!


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