01 Aug2008

chops1

I was just about to begin posts from our trip to Turkey, but decided to rush this one last Greek related post, inspired by the wonderful pork chops we enjoyed at the modest but utterly superb taverna/grill place called Telis, near the Athens Central market, earlier post here. We grilled these pork chops for dinner this evening, and it was such a simple and easy to enjoy such a well-loved cut of meat. If the Telis chops were a full 10.0/10.0, these would rank 8.50/10.0, so not bad for a first try…

chops2

You will need thinly sliced pork chops. I found these at S&R and they were a little thicker than I wanted, but I figured I could flatten them out with a meat pounder. A few whacks with a flat pounder and they were just the right thickness. Then mix up a marinade of olive oil, lots of dried oregano, black pepper and kosher or rock salt. Let this marinate for a couple of hours. Then fire up a charcoal or gas grill and when it is at its hottest, throw the pork chops on and be on the standby with long tongs to flip them around and move them away from the flames that are likely to occur due to the oily marinade. They need high heat for just a few minutes on each side. There should be some charring, and the ones in these photos lack a teeny weeny bit more charring, but you also don’t want to totally dry them out. Take them off the heat and serve immediately with wedges of lemon. Squeeze the lemon on the chops just before eating them and you’ll see for yourself… a refreshing, fragrant way to enjoy pork chops. Make sure you use enough salt, otherwise they will be bland. We are definitely doing this again with a nice Greek Salad and maybe a huge plate of french fries…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Mangaranon says:

    Yummmmmm. This just comes in time for my Atkins diet.

    Aug 1, 2008 | 5:23 am

     
  2. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Isn’t it amazing that some basic ingredients (olive oil, oregano, salt, etc.) and hardly any preparation ends up being fantastic!!! AWESOME!!!

    Aug 1, 2008 | 6:36 am

     
  3. Beth says:

    Thanks!Now, I have a menu for this sunday’s lunch!

    Aug 1, 2008 | 6:55 am

     
  4. alicia says:

    Bough the same pork chops yesterday at S&R to try making the porkchops you described from Greece..and voila… here they are. I use the exact same ingredients on grilled cornish hens or small free range chickens (that i have cut in half and deboned). I find,the squeeze of lemon makes all the difference ! Still have to compile he many many recipes we have tried from your blog to answer your question on the latest post/survey. Suffice to say there are too many to remember!

    Aug 1, 2008 | 7:55 am

     
  5. gita says:

    i wanna try this.. will it be alright to use a stovetop grill instead?

    Aug 1, 2008 | 8:05 am

     
  6. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    Looks great. Greek-style is one of my favourite ways to eat pork — well, eat almost anything!

    Aug 1, 2008 | 10:49 am

     
  7. AleXena says:

    This I will definitely try:) I just need to buy olive oil… can I use fresh oregano? we have tons of it in our garden=D

    The cut of porkchops in wet markets are thinner than those in supermarkets. We do also a grilled pork chop with just a dry rub of salt, pepper and brown sugar. Porkchops are best when grilled becuase you get to taste the fat drippings being absorbed by the meat.

    YUMYUM! Thanks Market Man=)

    Aug 1, 2008 | 12:49 pm

     
  8. millet says:

    MM, would brining porkchops this thin (prior to grilling) help, do you think?

    Aug 1, 2008 | 1:22 pm

     
  9. betty q. says:

    Hey Millet…I brine my chicken legs, whole chicken, butterflied chicken, chicken wings, pork chops (thick cut and /or thin cut) in this …try it:in a blender, put 2 cups cold water. Add 2tsps. GARLICKY seasoned salt, 2 tsps. salt, 2 tsps. ground black pepper, 4 really big cloves peeled garlic, yellow food color (optional), Blend it until smooth (pureed garlic). Pour this brine in a GLASS OR PLASTIC bucket..not ALUMINUM. Add your meat. Pour another 2 cups cold water. …I do this 2 cups at a time in the blender…don’t want it to splatter on the kitchen counter.Anyway, make sure your meat is submerged. Let it sit in the cooler overnight. Next day, drain and add your oil and fresh herbs. It is soooo tasty and good and somehow stays moist…take for instance CHICKEN LEGS…it takes FOREVER to grill them thoroughly. I used to grill them on high heat to get the grill marks and finish them in the oven. But my boys prefer the slow roasting on the barbecue grill for a crunchy skin and moist meat!!!!Everytime I do this, I make enough to feed an army! …my family just LOVES the LEFTOVERS!!!

    Aug 1, 2008 | 1:49 pm

     
  10. Rico says:

    Excellent! I’ve been waiting for this. I can almost taste this! Thanks!
    Hey Betty! By “fresh herbs” what do you mean exactly? I’m kinda new on the cooking, so I need a REAL list (and proportions if possible) of them herbs for say a kilo of chicken. Thanks!

    Aug 1, 2008 | 4:32 pm

     
  11. betty q. says:

    Hey Rico: I have a half plastic Barrel in our backyard that has parlsey, thyme, oregano and basil growing…for a family of four, the parley, thyme oregano is enough…it comes back EVERY YEAR (perennial)…however, we a BASIL people….basil being an annual (have to plan them every year). I let a few plants mature and go to seed for next year’s crop…The others, I just snip the sprigs and the top so it won’t go to seed. I have LOTS!!! I also have a 5 foot BAY LEAF tree which I started from just a cutting. My neighbour has Rosemary bush in her backyard…..Here’s a tip…KNOW your neighbours. I know All of them in our cul-de-sac. If anybody needs any fresh herbs, we all know where to KNOCK!!! But if you don’t have any access to HERB plants, then by all means use the dried ones you buy in grocery stores. But remeber: dried ones are more stronger in flavour than the fresh ones. SO…let’s say, for a kilo of meat, throw in heaping tsp. or two of DRIED oregano or 1 TABLESPOON OF FRESH OREGANO from someone’s plants!!!!If you want to add other dried herbs, here’s what I do….a PINCH OF this, a PINCH of that…Uh, Oh, you’re a guy so your pinch might be different from my pinch!!!! If you are not an oregano person, then throw in something else…in other words, make it your own!!! Did you know that GREAT RECIPES are BORN from EXPERIMENTS and FLUKES? I know that for a fact…my award-winnning CHPOCOLATE CAKE which I formulated myself was BORN out of a FLUKE!!!!

    So, take the step or LEAP, Rico…use your nose and sense of SMELL your guide…when I was small, I met Mang Pedring…I would see him SMELL whatever he is mixing. I would ask him “Why are you smelling it?” ….and he would say…”Anak, if it has enough salt”…Now, I KNOW EXACTLY what he meant…For I do the SAME THING and my boys asked me the very same question I asked Mang Pedring!

    Going back to your chicken, if you are a PURIST, which I hope you’re not!, then stick to one herb you want the flvour to predominate. So if it’s the oregano taste you’re after, then just use that. BUT sometines, I use CILANTRO and 5 spice powder if I want sort of an Asian or Chinese taste…Lemongrass with 5 spice is a mainstay at our house.

    Sine you are new to cooking, Rico, best advice I can give you when it comes to seasoning besides using your sense of smell and your nose as your guide is this…ALWAYS ERR ON THE SIDE OF LESS THAN MORE (i got that from my mom!). Take for instance, …salt. You can always add more if you wish BUT once you have begun seasoning a dish with More SALT than you needed to put in it…in other words, MAALAT!!!…then you would have to adjust the other ingredients…AGAIN!!!

    THE BRINE I POSTED UP ABOVE, RICO….I have taken the GUESSWORK OUT FOR YOU!!! Just make sure that the total amount of liquid comes up only to the level of the chicken and it is submerged!. When you add your oil, DON”T let it SWIM in the oil either. Just add enough to COAT the meat so it seals in the flavour and not stick to the GRill as well. Hey, do I get to go to your BARBECUE pARTY?

    Aug 1, 2008 | 11:17 pm

     
  12. Ruth says:

    I live in a condominium unit and the best I can use, as Gita asked, is a stovetop grill (never grilled anything in my life and this sounds like a simple enough thing to so as starters). Will a stovetop grill do?

    Aug 2, 2008 | 9:01 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Ruth and Gita, yes, you can certainly do this recipe on a stove-top grill, but be prepared for a whole lot of smoke! :) The flames/heat has to be pretty high to get the characteristic charring on the meat.

    bettyq, thanks for the tips and so much helpful information for readers. Perhaps you can pinch hit for me if I decide to take a couple of weeks off? :) heehee. I am sure many readers would welcome that…

    Rico, this is a very easy recipe to do… but actually, I think dried oregano works best in this one. Fresh would work too, but the flavor of the dried might have an edge.

    millet, bettyq, yes definitely brining would work on pork chops as well. But I would only brine them for a few hours, not overnight or they might get a bit salty…

    alexana, you could use fresh, but they may have a tendency to burn up and char more than the dried herbs mixed in with olive oil.

    gita, yes to stove top grill, just make sure it is super hot.

    alicia, the lemon really does have a great impact on the taste!

    Artisan, I often find dishes with the fewest ingredients are often the best… think adobo, grilled fish, etc…

    Mangaranon, although totally protein, the chops do have quite a bit of fat as well! :)

    Aug 2, 2008 | 4:47 pm

     
  14. betty q. says:

    You are also toooooo funny, MM!!!!! I think I’ll pass….I am nowhere near YOUR CALIBER as well as Apicio’s, Sister’s, and Silly Lolo’s….they would do a much better job than I can…Oh, I forgot…Maria Clara as well when she’s back in commission!!!!!!

    Aug 2, 2008 | 6:39 pm

     
  15. natie says:

    hehe–love the exchange here…go for it betty q..i know you can do it…thanks for the pork chop post MM..i haven’t had pork chops for a while. i just did your bistek tagalog and ribs. it’s no longer a chore planning a meal. you inspire me to eat well…

    Aug 2, 2008 | 8:48 pm

     
  16. Lex says:

    My sister sent me Greek Oregano from Australia sometime ago. this might spell the difference between you pork chops and the ones you had in Greece. Our local oregano is quite different compared to the Greek ones.

    I agree, the brining especially of smaller cuts are normally done over just a few hours and not overnight. There are very interesting articles from the magazine Cook’s Illustrated about the benefits of brinning. Somehow it does make some difference to the cell structure if brinned for a few hours and ovenight. Overdoing does not always mean better. One positive thing is that the flavors go deeper but juiciness is maximized at a limited time period.

    Aug 3, 2008 | 10:40 am

     
  17. betty q. says:

    I think I need to clarify, MM my brining method. …If you would look at my proportion of the salt content to the liquid, guys..it is ONLY 1 tsp for every cup of cold water….considering that the meat still holds enough moisture added, the brine will still be diluted! I am NOT after the brine using the egg as the salt index!…I think there is enough moisture or liquid added to the brine I have above that exudes from 5 POUNDS of chicken legs, or thin/thick cut porkchops, or whole chickens…

    My apologies for the misunderstanding!

    Aug 3, 2008 | 1:56 pm

     
  18. skyemermaid says:

    i had grilled porkchop yesterday lunch. my mother overcooked it and so it was disappointingly dry. your porkchop looks yummy.

    Aug 4, 2008 | 11:00 am

     
  19. Rico says:

    Whoa! Very detailed! Thanks Betty and MM!

    Aug 7, 2008 | 2:53 pm

     
  20. Ellen says:

    I tried this recipe yesterday over a stove-top grill. Yum! It is quite amazing that a very simple recipe can turn out to be such a delight! The lemon really makes a lot of difference. Thanks MM for sharing another great recipe!

    Aug 11, 2008 | 1:43 pm

     
  21. dhayL says:

    I love greek-style pork/pork chops and pairing them with greek pasta salad! Your marinade is very simple, but i have to admit that whenever i make this chops, i use store-bought salad dressing (kraft with feta) they’re also good with chicken quarters.. But i will try your super easy marinate next time!

    Aug 22, 2008 | 9:40 pm

     
  22. Edwin D. says:

    Tried this recipe. Sarap! My kids love it and so did the wife.

    Sep 6, 2008 | 12:48 pm

     
  23. Nikki says:

    Just discovered your site recently and have since started reading the archives. :-). Anyway, i tried this recipe a few hours ago and my family (Mom, Kuya and my little sister) liked it a lot. Served it with stir-fried asparagus and microwave cooked potatoes (w/ salt, pepper, olive oil and Parmesan cheese). Thanks very much for sharing it.

    Dec 2, 2008 | 6:45 pm

     
 

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