Thursday, June 10, 2010

Grilled Pork Chops with Coffee Barbecue Sauce and Garlic-Roasted Yuca

When it comes to the kitchen, there are only a handful of things that can really push me over the edge. My biggest beef (no pun intended) is having to throw any unused food in the trash. I can't stand the action or the sight of it in my trash can. This is one of the reasons I try to stick to my weekly menus that I create. Thankfully, I was allowed to make this over a few days and use the ingredients I had on hand.

When you're short on time, or just not in the mood to spend much more time in the kitchen, this is a good recipe that you can prepare over a couple days. One night, make and refrigerate your sauce (it's good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge). The next night, brine the pork chops. A day later? Throw everything together!

(I do want to note two things off the bat. 1) This recipe comes from Nightly Specials: 125 Recipes for Spontaneous, Creative Cooking at Home. 2) The yuca was a little dry. [Dear husband referred to it as a heap of bacon bits.] While awfully taste, make sure you pay attention to the consistency of it before and after you put it in the oven. Given a second chance, I might add a little more olive oil to keep it from drying up.)

Ingredients for the Pork Chops:
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs pork chops, preferably center cut, 1/2" thick
  • Coffee Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)
  1. Pour 1 quart (4C) water into a deep container. Add 1/4 C salt and stir until it's dissolved.
  2. Submerge the pork chops in the solution completely and weight them down with a plate if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 12 and no more than 24 hours.
  3. Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Prepare an outdoor grill or preheat a grill pan over high heat on the stovetop.
  5. Season the chops with salt and pepper and put them on the grill over direct heat. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, or less if the chops are thinly cut.
  6. After turning the chops, baste them with the barbecue sauce, letting the sauce caramelize onto the pork.
  7. Serve from a platter with extra barbecue sauce alongside.

Ingredients for the Yuca:
  • 2 lbs yuca
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 lb bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 C dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 C chopped almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel off the brown skin. Cut the yuca into 3" pieces, then those pieces into halves. Set aside in a bowl of cold water.
  3. Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with enough water to cover the yuca. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 1/2 tsp salt to the water, add the yuca to the pot, and return the water to a boil. Lower the heat and let the yuca simmer until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain the yuca and let rest until cool enough to handle. Use a sharp knife to remove any thick fibers from the center of the yuca.
  4. Put the yuca in a vegetable roasting dish and sprinkle evenly with the cumin and 1 tsp black pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, saute the bacon in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat until the fat has been rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, leaving the fat in the pan.
  6. Add the oil to the bacon fat and warm slowly. Add the garlic and toast it to a pale golden brown, about 2 minutes. Pour the garlic and oil over the yuca in the roasting dish. Add the cooked bacon to the yuca and stir to combine evenly.

  7. Combine the breadcrumbs with the chopped nuts and sprinkle on top of the yuca. Put the dish in the oven and roast until the top is browned and crisp, about 25 minutes.
  8. Serve the yuca family-style from the center of the table.
Ingredients for Sauce:
  • 1/2 C brewed espresso or strong, dark coffee (*Note: I love coffee and did not get enough of the flavor in the sauce. I'd double it, but that's just me.)
  • 1 C ketchup
  • 1/2 C cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 C)
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 fresh hot chiles, such as jalapeno (or hotter), seeded
  • 2 tbsp hot dry mustard mixed with 1 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  1. Stir all of the ingredients together in a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat so the mixture is just simmering and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, let the mixture cool, then puree it in a blender or food processor fitted with the steel blade. (Or use the immersion blender I love to shamelessly promote!)
  2. Cover and refrigerate.

(Tip: Check out World Market, Target, Walmart or even your local dollar store for clear plastic condiment dispensers to make your own sauces easy to dispense and decorate with.)

Recipe posted in Make it from Scratch.


  1. The coffee BBQ sauce sounds really good. Maybe it is because it is the morning and I have not had my coffee yet but I think that coffee and BBQ sound like a good combo. I will have to give it a try sometime.

  2. It is a great flavor combination. Add that to literally the best pork chops I've ever had, and you've got a winner.

  3. Hi There.
    I'm looking for your Friday-Follow post.
    Have a great day!