Looking for an easy way to kick up your pork chops? This has ingredients commonly found in most household kitchens...nothing exotic here, so have fun!
This is a 2-part process, for when you have little time for cooling and properly chilling the spice solution after heating, allowing for a quicker method of cooling the solution with ice before adding the meat, all for the sake of food safety.
ZESTY LEMON / ORANGE MARINATED CHOPS
***for approx 6.75lbs assorted pork chops...serves 8-10***
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 large naval orange
3 cups water
1 Tbls ground garlic
1 Tbls fresh ground black peppercorn
1 Tbls dried rosemary leaves
1/2 Tbls paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbls salt
Combine zest with all dry ingredients and water. Heat to simmer in saucepan and remove from heat.
6 Tbls light brown sugar
Same lemon from above, peeled
Same orange from above, peeled
6 cups cubed ice
2 cups cold water
Add peeled lemon and orange chunks into blender or food processor with 1 cup ice cubes at a time until all ice is crushed.
Add cooling spice solution to blended acidic solution and mix. Pour into large bowl or tall food container and add additional ice
and water to make at least 2.5 quarts.
Add chops, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, stirring solution/chops every 30 minutes to aid in food contact
***Note: sugar was added to the juices only for the purpose of avoiding the possibility of any carmelization while heating the spice solution, as I was in a rather "heated" rush to get this started. It could be added to the spices instead, if slower heating were accomplished, but with only 3 cups water, it could get a syrup consistency going if not attended to closely. So, it's probably best this way afterall.
Blending of the acidic solution is done...nice and cold, with condensation on the glass:
Some fat floating on the surface after several stirs...2 hours into marinating, here:
2.5 hours marinating...I yanked 'em out, no rinse, dusted with fine ground black pepper and salt:
4 charoal briquettes and 2 pinky finger-size chunks of apple for cold smoke. Any temp around around 100-120* for this step is fine...short-term cold smoking here. Very low intake draft and mod/low exhaust ventilation, of course:
Chops, all set to go on my Snp 40" (currently modified as a dedicate charcoal grill):
25 minues cold smoke, and just tossed the grates back in over med/hot coals...about 600* grate temp for a med/light sear and med/well: