This simple quick-brine method requires minimal prep and planning, and results in tender, juicy pork chops that won’t dry out during grilling. And if you can’t find fresh figs at your local market, feel free to substitute seasonal stone fruit such as nectarines or plums. —Judy Haubert
firm-ripe figs, such as Black Mission (about 12), halved
In This Recipe
Combine hot water, 3 tablespoons honey, and 3 tablespoons kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the ice and stir until melted. Place the pork chops, cloves, and thyme sprigs in a large resealable bag and pour in the brine. Squeeze out any excess air, tightly seal the bag, and place on a plate or rimmed baking sheet in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, combine the softened butter with the remaining 2 teaspoons honey, the mustard, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Place on a 10-inch x 10-inch piece of wax or parchment paper and roll tightly into a 4-inch long log. Twist the ends of the parchment closed and tie each end tightly with butcher’s twine. Place in the fridge until ready to grill.
Remove pork chops from brine, pat dry, and season with freshly ground pepper. Remove compound butter from the fridge. Meanwhile, build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grill grates with oil and place the pork chops on the grill. Grill, turning once, until browned and cooked through and an instant-read thermometer registers 140°F, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest while grilling the figs and asparagus.
Brush the cut sides of the figs and the asparagus with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook, turning once, until lightly charred and tender, about 4 to 5 minutes for each. Unwrap and slice the compound butter into 4 segments. Top each pork chop with a pat of the butter and divide the figs evenly over top. Serve alongside the grilled asparagus.