Orange & Molasses Grilled Pork Chops

By Stefano Coppola
August 11, 2009
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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

Serves: 6

Orange-Molasses Brine

  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. Add chops and refridgerate for at least 2 hours, preferrably overnight.
  3. 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.
  4. Deglaze with vinegar.
  5. Add tomatoes, molasses, sugar, orange juice & zest, and paprika.
  6. Simmer for 30 minutes, add bourbon. Simmer 5 minutes longer.
  7. Allow to cool until safe to blend in a blender or food processor.
  8. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  9. Remove chops from brine and pat dry. Do not add additional salt.
  10. Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill (closed) to desired doneness, about 8 minutes per side for medium.
  11. Serve with sauce.

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