Chinese BBQ’ed Pork October 28, 2008Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.
OK, so you know the boneless pork ribs you get at a Chinese restaurant? The really yummy ones, not the dried-out flavorless ones? If you like those, then you’re gonna love this.
OK, so first off, I started with a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, as I so often do. Then I tweeked it a bit, as I also often do. The original recipe was for, rather than ribs, a 4-pound boneless pork butt (Boston butt), trimmed a lot.
The thing is that any Boston butt that comes along is going to get waylaid and turned into pulled pork. I’m not gonna lie. It’s just gonna happen, that’s all. Not that I’m objecting, mind you, I’m just saying.
A variation is called for here, I guess, because I love those ribs, and by golly, we’re going to have them. Or something like them, anyway. So without further ado, may I present Chinese BBQ’ed pork chops. Ish. This recipe will make about 6 servings, and, since the chops will marinate, and there are only the two of us, I actually took three packages of 2 chops each out of the freezer and divided the marinade among them. Two packages went back in the freezer (still frozen) and the other went in the fridge to thaw and marinate. Multi tasking, baby!
Let’s get started, shall we?
Measure, then whisk together:
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- ½ cup sugar
- 6 Tablespoons hoisin sauce You can find this at any decent grocery store – I actually got lucky and picked up a jar at Big Lots, believe it or not!
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder Again, any decent grocery store in the spice aisle.
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger Check this out – we picked up a pint basket of ginger at the market a few weeks ago, peeled and threw the whole works in the Cuisinart, then I froze it in 1 Tablespoon scoops. Very convenient!
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
As I said, I used three bags of two chops each, so I divided the marinade among them. Either way.
You could probably even get away with 8 chops, or 2 packages of 4, or whatever your family size dictates. YOU are the cook here.
So if, like me, you’re using already frozen pork chops that you froze the week before when you picked up two whole pork loins at Sam’s Club for a pretty decent price, and your wonderful husband trimmed them for you, then put the chops (and marinade) back in the freezer – you don’t want them to thaw! Unless you’re planning to cook them for dinner this week, then stick them in the fridge.
Now. The half cup of marinade that we’ve set aside. Um, dump that into a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Really, glass. You want something that you can safely microwave AND see what you’re doing.
Add 1/4 cup of ketchup and 1/3 cup honey, then whisk together.
You’re going to have just over 1 cup of what will eventually be glaze.
Microwave on “high” until mixture is thick and syrupy and reduced to just under 1 cup, stopping to stir (carefully!) every 2-3 minutes. Remember, this stuff is boiling sugar and honey, with little chunks of garlic and ginger mixed in. You do NOT want to spill it, I’m pretty sure.
Now, let your glaze rest until it’s cooled a bit. I’d wait until it stops bubbling, anyway. If you’re using it right away, no worries. But if you’re going to be cooking the chops tomorrow, or freezing them, well, it needs to be placed in a container and put away. I used 4-oz portion cups and, again, divided the glaze into three cups – about 1/4 cup in each container. Then I placed one in each (double-bagged) package of pork chops in the freezer, and the other just went in the fridge with the third package o’ pork, for dinner the following day.
It’s either later that same day, the next day, or some time time after you’ve pulled your marinated chops out of the freezer and let them completely thaw. At this point, you can either grill or broil your chops – I opted to grill in this case, because, well, because I still can. Over the winter, I’ll broil – and I’d use a foil-lined pan to broil the chops on, too.
Remove the meat from the marinade and discard the marinade. Grill (or broil) until the chops are nearly done , turning once – probably 3-4 minutes each side, depending on how thick the cut of meat is. (Remember, pork loin is really lean, and it dries out fast. Do NOT be tempted to overcook this.) Brush them liberally with your glaze (use half), continue grilling/broiling a minute or two, then turn over (this is why you want to line your broiler pan with foil!), brush with the rest of the glaze, and continue to grill/broil until the bottom (or top) is slightly caramelized and the chops are, well, nicely glazy looking.
These chops were wonderful with a side of rice and some sautéed green beans. And if, just if, you happened to have any left over, you could certainly dice the meat and add it to fried rice.
A more printable version of this recipe is right here. Take it home, share the love . . .