Grilled Pork Chops and Cauliflower Stuffing

I wanted to grill some pork chops since I got a new charcoal grill (more on this later) but wanted to serve a stuffing with it. The stuffings I typically make all have some kind of bread or starch in them, which doesn’t quite fit into the Mister’s eating requirements. So I got creative and according to the Mister, this one is a winner and if I hadn’t mentioned that it was gluten- and grain-free as well as Paleo friendly, no one would even think twice about it. Please don’t let the fact this is Paleo friendly keep you from trying it, especially if you like cauliflower. I’m not a huge vegetable person but this was really really good. The recipe is for 2 people but can be doubled (or tripled, etc.) easily.

Serves 2

Pork Chops Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (can use granulated or brown suger)
  • 1 quart warm water
  • 2 (1-inch thick) bone-in rib loin chops or pork chops

In large bowl of container, whisk together salt, sugar and water until sugar and salt dissolves. Let cool. I stick a handful of ice cubes in it to speed it along. Add pork chops and cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove the chops and dry well with paper towels.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. You can season the chops with freshly ground black pepper if you like. Drizzle a bit of olive oil to both sides of chops. Grill chops for 6-9 minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove chops and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Cauliflower Stuffing Ingredients:

  • 1 slice of bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, slice florets into 1/4 thickness
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped sage leaves
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut flour (can also use almond flour, or bread crumbs for those not on gluten-free diets)
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries (optional but it’s really good with it!)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, fry the bacon on medium heat until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add onion and garlic, saute for 3 minutes with the bacon. Add rosemary, sage and cauliflower, saute for 2 minutes until the herbs are fragrant. Add coconut flour and 1/4 cup of broth, bring to boil and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally, until the cauliflower is tender but still a bit firm, about 5 more minutes or so. Remove from heat and check for seasoning, add salt and ground black pepper as needed. Mix in dried cranberries and serve hot.

Side Note: We’ve (I’ve) been grilling quite a bit lately. But since I now really enjoy grilling with charcoal, I’ve been using my Weber smoker as a make shift grill. Not too bad but not the most convenient. So about a month ago, I asked the Mister if I could get a Weber charcoal kettle grill, kind of as an early Mother’s Day present. Yes, I consider myself a mom. My kids might have twice as many legs as other parents and more fur on their body, but they know me as “Mommy.” In reality, I don’t really need to find excuses to get a present. I just ask for it, and in most cases, he would say go ahead. Anyway, back to the story.

I had wanted a Weber One Touch Gold kettle in blue but after doing some bargain hunting (which I do for just about everything), I had the opportunity to get a Weber Performer for $80 less than street price, no tax, no shipping cost. The only catch is that it only came in black, not blue, or green or the beautiful red that I’ve seen. But for $80 less, I was able to buy a cover for it and a new set of extra long tongs. And black matched my Smokey Mountain Smoker.  How awesome was that? Granted that this baby is almost twice as much as what the OTG kettle but there were some features that the Performer has that makes it so nice! First and foremost for me, the lid holder. What an awesome thing that is. Then there’s the gas lighter. No need for the chimney or newspaper or lighter cubes. However I had to say that I really love those little lighter cubes. Anyway, it comes with the extra work table which is the second best feature. The charcoal bin is pretty darn convenient, too.  There are other features that just make it really worth the extra money for me to get it. And it cooks like a dream! So that’s my new toy. Oh yeah, one more thing, not only is this grill awesome, you can’t beat Weber’s customer service. I can’t say enough about them like so many other Weber fans. I have no affiliation with them but I can tell you from experience that they stand behind their products, all their products no matter how small or cheap. I just wished more companies treated their customers and stood behind their products like Weber does.

Weber 1421001 Performer Grill 22.5" - Black

So that’s it for now. I’ll be grilling on this baby every chance I get. Summer IS just around the corner and for us in San Diego, it’s aways grilling season!

10 Comments

  1. Oh the chops look so nice and juicy/fatty! Where did you buy the chops from? I’ve always wanting to try brining but feared it took too much time and the meat might turn out too salty.

    If I don’t have charcoal grill, is there another way to cook the meat (I have a grill pan , George Foreman grill, and also a regular oven).

    Nice post!

    • Thanks Faye! I tend to go light on the brining because I also fear of overbrining the meat. These chops were from Costco and they were about 1 inch thick. 30 minutes was just the right amount for us. Anything thinner I would start about 15-20 minutes o f brining or increase the water amount by half (add 2 more cups of water) going the full 30 minutes. Once you get comfortable with a simple brining solution, you can play around with apple juice, broth, etc.

      I typically don’t brine pork chops if I’m deep frying them or using BBQ sauce. But for grilling, I like to brine them since they don’t have anything else on them.

      You can cook them in the oven or on the stove top. For oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. I would recommend using an oven proof skillet to brown the pork chops both sides (use a bit of oil of choice) on medium high heat, about 2 minutes per side and then letting them finish in the oven until internal temp reaches 145-150 degrees F. If using the stove top, same with browning on both sides as the oven method, then turn the heat down to medium and cook until internal temp reaches 145-150.

      It’s been a very long time since I’ve used a George Foreman grill but you can use that too, be even faster. If you have the instruction book for it, I would recommend using that as a guide on how long and how high a temp for pork chops.

      If you don’t have an instant meat thermometer, 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick chops with bone in will take about 5-8 minutes on stove top. It’ll be less in the oven, around 4-6 minutes. Cut the meat near the bone to check for doneness. I like it just around 145-150 degrees and the meat will still be a little pink, which is totally safe to eat. The meat will look cooked vs. raw-ish, if that makes sense.

  2. Great pork chop dish!

    I had a Weber One Touch Gold kettle in blue and I only cooked with Nature’s Own Hardwood
    Lump or Chunk Charwood. One sheet of newspaper to light and it burned cleaner and hotter than regular charcoal briquettes. It would take a whole year of grilling before there was enough ash build up to empty the ash pan. Nature’s Own Charwood is used throughout the US in many restaurants.

    Using charwood enabled me to use all types of smoking woods, herbs and grape vines to impart different flavors to my dishes. Typically I used dried grape vines to impart smoky wine flavor into my grilled pizza (used Al Forno Restaurant recipe) which would be typical flavors Italy and French regions.

    Living in a condo now I have my cast iron grill pan, private picnic area with BBQ fire places and of course I have a Weber Little Joe to take to the beach, parks or pot-luck house parties.

  3. By the way, I just found out there is an American knockoff selling as Nature’s Own Hardwood Lump or Chunk Charwood. The actual product I and the restaurants use is Nature’s Own Basques Hardwood Lump or Chunk Charwood normally in a green and white bag with a Canadian duck; website: http://www.basquescharcoal.com/products.php. Peoples Woods who was the major USA distributer retired and closed shop.

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