Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beer Marinated Pork Chops with Peach Salsa

Summertime and beer...they hand in hand.  I grew up in a state that took pride in its beer.  And brats. boiled brats at every family BBQ, tailgate party, summer, everywhere.   But sadly the beer used was often the cheapest variety available, drinkability notwithstanding. 

Several weeks back my sister directed my attention to an amazing food blog...The Beeroness.  The blog is devoted to appreciating and cooking with craft beers.  And why not?  The food sphere is all a twitter with proper wine and food pairings, both for dining and cooking.  Beer really should be no different.  In the midst of the craft beer and home brew boom the market is awash with so many styles.  Each with their own unique flavor profiles.

With Ross' growing  passion in home brewing we've broadened our range of beers.  IPAs still are a hard one for me  to appreciate, but when I came across this recipe for marinated pork chops, along with highly recommended IPA I knew I would have to give these hoppy beers another shot. 

Do check out Jackie's blog. 

adapted from Jackie's recipe at

serves 8

The Ingredients:
for the chops and marinade
8 bone-in pork chops, cut 3/4- 1 inch thick
12 oz IPA style beer
juice of two lemons
1 tsp sriracha, or more to taste
2 tsp agave or honey
2 tsp salt
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
additional salt and pepper to taste

for the salsa
2 ripe peaches, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 pablano pepper, chopped
1/2 large red onion, diced
2-3 green onions, sliced
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp IPA style beer

The Process:
In a large bowl or baking dish, combine the beer, lemon juice, salt, agave, garlic and sriracha, stir to combine. Add the pork chops, turning to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

To prepare the salsa, combine  all of the  ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat (I prefer a cast iron) until scalding hot but not smoking. Add the pork chops, cooking one or two at a time to not over crowd the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Sear on each side for 3-4 minutes.  The chops will still be slightly pink at the center. Transfer to a baking sheet in a oven preheated to 200 to keep warm.  Cook remaining chops in the same manner.

Transfer the cooked chops to serving plates and top with salsa. Serve immediately.

The Review:
For this batch of chops, I went with Jackie's recommendation for Stone's Ruination.  If you can find it, I highly recommend trying it.  But at about $18.99 for a six pack, it is a bit of a splurge.  However, if you like me, are IPA averse, this may help to at least earn the hop forward style a little more appreciation.

Paired with the chops, the IPA worked incredibly well.  The meat was tender and flavorful.  The beer flavor subtle.  The peach salsa truly stole the show.  Plan on having plenty of chips near at hand to scoop up the leftovers.  Or spoon it on top of a simple green salad for a refreshing lunch.

Here, beer is not the star, but it fulfills its supporting role with gusto.

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