Grilled pork chops with rosemary and thyme
The flavors of Provence are what make these pork chops special, whether you pan-sear your them or grill them on the barbecue. You may use the dried herbs sold in France as herbes de Provence – a mixture of rosemary, thyme and a variety of other herbs, for example marjoram, savory or basil – or create your own blend. Or, if you have access to fresh herbs, you may simplify by using fresh rosemary and thyme straight off the branch.
The key to success is to cook the pork just long enough for it to be crispy on the outside and succulent inside. Do not overcook, or the chops will be dry. Test by inserting a fork into the meat. As soon as the juice runs clear, not pink, the chops are ready.
2 pork chops, cut about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. dried or fresh mixed herbs: rosemary, thyme, etc. (see above)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
An hour before you intend to begin cooking, place the pork chops on a large plate or board.
Peel the garlic and slice lengthwise into slivers. Lay half the slivers on top of the pork. Sprinkle the chops with half of the herbs and press lightly so that they stick to the meat. Turn the chops over on the plate and repeat with the rest of the garlic and herbs. Allow to rest at room temperature or in the fridge until ready to cook.
If grilling on the stove top, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil to sizzling. Add the chops and sear over high heat for 4 minutes. Flip them over and sear another 4 minutes, or until the juice runs clear when they are pricked with a fork.
If grilling on a barbecue, light the fire half an hour before you intend to cook. While the coals are heating, coat the chops with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
When the coals are hot, place the chops on the grill and cook close to the embers for 5 minutes. Flip and grill another 5 minutes, or until the juice runs clear when they are pricked with a fork.
Hint: It’s helpful to keep a glass of water beside the barbecue. It the coals flame up, sprinkle them with water to ensure the meat does not get charred.
Serve with potatoes, salad or seasonal vegetables. Serves 2.