Grilled Applewood Smoked Pork Chops with Cider Sauce

Day PartDinner
Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Lisa Dupar
Lisa Dupar Catering and Pomegranate Bistro

Chef Dupar’s catering company is located in the Pacific Northwest, and her food is inspired by both regional ingredients and her own Southern roots. This cold smoke method of cooking pork chops infuses them with the flavor of applewood chips. Once smoked, the chops can be refrigerated until needed, then grilled to order and serviced with a hard cider sauce, rich with seasonal flavors.


Smoked pork chops
1 gal. water
1 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup apple syrup
8 bay leaves
12 whole garlic cloves, skin on and smashed
2 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 large bunch Italian parsley
Grated zest of 2 large lemons
1 lb. thick-cut pork chops, trimmed (reserve scraps)

Pressed hard cider sauce
Olive oil
3 bottles draft hard cider
4 cups apple syrup
2 cups frozen green apple puree, thawed
8 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
4 shallots, sliced
4 cups heavy cream
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. thyme leaves
Splash white wine


1. Prepare chops: In large saucepot, combine water, salt, apple syrup, bay leaves, garlic cloves, peppercorns, parsley and lemon zest; bring brine to a boil over high heat and boil 1 minute.
2. Remove brine from heat; cool completely. Add chops to brine and let soak 2 hours.
3. Remove chops from brine and pat dry. Lay chops on rack.
4. Preheat convection oven with fan on to 200 F. Heat applewood chips to smoking and place in bottom of oven. Place rack of chops in oven and cold smoke 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven and refrigerate until needed.
5. Meanwhile, prepare cider sauce: In heavy saucepot over medium-high heat, heat a little olive oil. Add reserved pork scraps; cook until golden brown. Stir in cider, syrup, apple puree, garlic, shallots, cream, vinegar and thyme. Cook until reduced and mixture is thick and syrupy. Strain sauce; add salt to taste and set aside.
6. For service, grill chops to desired doneness. Heat sauce with a splash of white wine. Serve chops with sauce.

Photo courtesy of The Perfect Puree

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