A wonderfully aromatic yet straightforward recipe for marinated and grilled pork chops, which are especially tasty when cooked over hickory wood or chips. The combination of wood smoke with savory juniper, rosemary, and fennel is sure to evoke ravenous appetites in all who encounter a whiff of this Tuscan-inspired grill.
- 6 large center-cut pork chops, at least 1 inch thick
- 1 cup apple cider
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 20 juniper berries, crushed
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup chopped fresh fennel, combination bulb and feathery tops
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Early in the day place the pork chops in a shallow glass dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour the cider and olive oil over them and sprinkle evenly with the juniper. Mince 1 clove of the garlic and sprinkle over the meat. Cut the remaining garlic clove into 6 slivers and insert a sliver into the meat near the bone of each pork chop. Sprinkle with the rosemary and fennel; season with salt and pepper. Let marinate covered in the refrigerator several hours, turning the chops occasionally.
2. Prepare the fireplace or grill for cooking. Bring the pork chops to room temperature.
3. Grill the chops about 4 inches above the hot coals, basting occasionally with the marinade and turning once, until cooked through, 25 minutes. Serve at once.
Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.