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Author Notes: Orange & molasses is a great flavor combo, with its rich sweetness and bright citrus flavors. The brine infuses the chops, which get grilled and slathered in a homemade bbq sauce. —Stefano Coppola
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup molasses
- 3 quarts orange juice
- 4 juniper berries
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 pork chops, center cut, double thick
Orange-Molasses BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 14 ounces can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 oranges, juiced and zested
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- salt & pepper to taste
- Combine all brine ingredients, except chops, in a large saucepot and bring to a boil. Let cool. This can be done well in advanced and refridgerated.
- Add chops and refridgerate for at least 2 hours, preferrably overnight.
- Make BBQ sauce. Start by sweating the onion, celery, & bell pepper over medium-low heat with a lage pinch of salt. When onions are translucent, about 8 minutes, add garlic. Sweat 5 more minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic.
- Deglaze with vinegar.
- Add tomatoes, molasses, sugar, orange juice & zest, and paprika.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, add bourbon. Simmer 5 minutes longer.
- Allow to cool until safe to blend in a blender or food processor.
- Season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Remove chops from brine and pat dry. Do not add additional salt.
- Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill (closed) to desired doneness, about 8 minutes per side for medium.
- Serve with sauce.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Grilled Pork Recipe
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