When I went to New York with my wife and in-laws last February, my father-in-law ordered a really huge bone-in pork chop for dinner one night. It looked so good, I’ve been thinking about it from time to time ever since. So, after a particularly and unnecessarily cumbersome string of days at work, I decided to go to Whole Foods to find the thickest friggin pork chops I could find.
Mustard Soy Marinade Recipe:
(This really isn’t a marinade, but I don’t know what else to call it. It’s a sauce I painted on to some grilled food. I was going to call it mustard soy sauce, but that would be more misleading)
1. Mix it: when I make a marinade or sauce, I really just wing it. This practice started in college, when I would basically take a little of all the condiments from the fridge, mix them up, paste them onto a cheapo cut of meat, and cook it on a Foreman Grill. Nowadays, I use a little more restraint and a lot less Worchestershire. This marinade used 3T olive oil, 2T soy sauce, 1T rice wine vinegar, 1-2T spicy brown mustard, dash of toasted sesame oil (my wife doesn’t like too much of this, although I think it’s heavenly), a heavy pinch of pepper, and pinch of brown sugar. This was enough to baste two super thick pork chops and some asparagus.
2. Grill it: I took the chops out of the butcher paper they came in and put them straight on the grill. I wanted to sear them first and then gave them indirect heat. These were really thick, so it took a while. And I had to use a meat thermometer because I had no idea what was going on in the center of the meat.
Because I didn’t put any oil on them first, they did stick a little bit. But it didn’t seem to hurt anything. I was still able to get some nice grill marks on them.
3. Baste it: Since I was using the marinade as a baste, I used a brush to paint the chops as they got near to being done. For some reason, I just felt like putting the marinade on too soon might cause the sauce to burn. Soy sauce does some really weird things if it stays under high heat for too long. And there was brown sugar in the sauce.
4. Grill veggies: the asparagus was looking good at the store, so I got some. Usually, I like pencil thin asparagus. This is because I think really thick asparagus is too fibrous and is also unapologetically phallic. And although pencil asparagus doesn’t suffer either of those problems, it isn’t that great on the grill. So, I decided to buy asparagus that was slightly thicker than I am accustomed to buying. It turned out to be a good choice.
5. Eat it: when we sat down to eat, my wife pointed out that I forgot to pack steak knives. So, we used the knives that were in our picnic basket that we received as a wedding gift and use whenever we eat up on the roof. They knives we did have weren’t butter knives, but they might as well have been. After a while, I decided to put it on top of a piece of ciabatta and called it my amuse bouche. I feel like grilled food should be eaten with your hands, anyway.
The mustard soy marinade turned out really good. As it cooked onto the meat, it became glassy and picked up a dark ambue hue which made my mouth water. The soy and brown sugar had caramelized nicely, and the mustard gave it pep. Overall, it complemented the flavor of the pork really well. And boy, were those pork chops tasty. They had a really nice sear, a tender middle, and were as thick as a book.
The only thing I regretted was that I didn’t have extra sauce left over to dip. My wife didn’t mind because she doesn’t usually like extra sauce. But I’m a saucy guy. And I was really wishing that the grills at my building had side burners so I could have cooked down some of the marinade into a really nice mustard barbecue sauce.