A few days ago, my wife went to a local farmer’s market and came home with quite the haul. Amongst her haul was a bag of fresh mint leaves. She suggested that I look for a recipe combining pork chops and mint. After some searching around and application of my Google-fu skills, I found a recipe on the Pork Be Inspired website for Grilled Pork Chops with Mint Chimichurri. For those who are interested in seeing the recipe, you can find it here. I had to make one minor tweak to it due to not having an ingredient, so here is the recipe I used for the mint chimichurri:
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt (I used ordinary iodized salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (the original recipe calls for red wine vinegar)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-4 tablespoons water
To make one batch of the chimichurri, combine all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until the mixture is smooth and has a pourable consistency. For this meal, I ended up making two batches.
The pork chops (3 in total) were brought to room temperature and then poked with a meat piercer. They were then placed in a Ziploc bag along with a full batch of the chimichurri (the original recipe calls for using 1/2 of a batch), tossed around a bit to thoroughly coat the surfaces, and placed in the refrigerator to marinade for 4 hours.
I was recently sent a set of ManGrates for review, so I put them to good use here. The ManGrates got a coat of cooking spray (since I was still in the process of seasoning) before pre-heating the gas grill. Once the gas grill got up to temperature (approximately 15 minutes at high heat), I turned the heat down to medium and placed the chops on the grates. They got a quarter turn at the 2-3 minute mark, flipped at the 4-6 minute mark, and a final quarter turn at the 6-9 minute mark. Below is some video taken of the cook in action.
The chops came off the grill once they reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees and rested for approximately 5-10 minutes. While the chops were cooking, my wife made some potatoes with oregano and garlic as well as some snap peas lightly sautéed in butter. For my plate, I drizzled some mint chimichurri over my chops, while my wife decided to go with it on the side.
Now I am no chimichurri expert. In fact, this is the first one I have ever made. The taste of this particular recipe is a touch sour with minty undertones. To me, it worked quite nicely on the chops as a change-up to the more traditional sweeter BBQ sauces. My wife wasn’t thrilled with the sauce at first, but I think it grew on her towards the end of the meal. I could see myself cooking this again but with some alterations to the chimichurri.
I’d love to hear your feedback on experiences with various chimichurri sauces. If you have a recipe to share, I’d love to hear that too!