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Caramelized Balsamic & Brown Sugar-Glazed Pork Loin Chops

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brown sugar balsamic pork chops

 

I was never really a lover of vinegar when I was a kid. As a matter of fact, I despised it. But that’s because my family and relatives always just used regular ol’ distilled vinegar. To this day, I still hate the smell of it so much so that it makes me gag, and 1 bottle will last me 25 years. And that’s not an exaggeration. I think I’ve only bought two bottles of it since I was about 18 years old, and only fairly recently finally bought the second bottle! I’m still not even quite sure why. 

But a whole new world opened up for me when I tried my first taste of a nice aged, sweet balsamic vinegar! It was good good and surprisingly sweet! So crazy-amazingly delicious that I could’ve easily actually taken a small swig of it right straight from the bottle! It was that good, and I was not only amazed, but HOOKED immediately! This nectar from the gods could not possibly be…vinegar?!!  

It was when I was in my early 30’s, that I decided to give that “window cleaner” a second try. I quickly discovered that no two vinegars are alike and, that, regular ol’ distilled vinegar, though it still had some culinary uses in my kitchen, was best left for cleaning, laundry fixes and spewing, oozing volcanic science experiments.

There was an entire WORLD of amazingly tasting vinegars, and even the simple ones, such as red wine and balsamic, didn’t even resemble it’s simple, basic relative. There are white balsamics, herbed vinegars, and even Champagne vinegars! I’ve tried dozens since realizing that I actually don’t hate vinegar at all, and I sure hope that if you, too, have had an aversion since childhood to that “stinky stuff”, that you’ll not just give up on it and give much better, more flavorful and interesting vinegars a try! I know of quite a few people that think they don’t like vinegar, so I hope that this convinces any of you out there, too! 🙂  

Because, simply, this easy marinade I whipped up ROCKED. Not overly complicated, the flavors just simply play harmonically together, and seasoned the chops like you will not believe without completely overpowering their naturally sweet and lightly smokey flavor! 

They couldn’t be easier, they couldn’t be simpler, and I’d be proud to serve even the pickiest of friends these gorgeous chops! Things don’t have to have a long list of eclectic ingredients to taste great! They just have to impress the tastebuds is all. 😉 And believe me, you will impress everyone you serve these beauties to! 

Give these lean, healthy, grilled chops a try soon! Summertime is here, and it’s time to have some fun on the grill and not waste a second of it! They’re easy to make, no hard-to-find exotic or expensive ingredients, and the taste is phe-NOM-inal! There’s nothing not to love! 😉 😀 I only beg one favor….when you make them – – call me!!! 😀 😉    

 

 

*Baste some kale leaves with the last of the sauce and grill them, too! DELICIOUS!!

Yield: 2

Caramelized Balsamic & Brown Sugar-Glazed Pork Loin Chops

Caramelized Balsamic & Brown Sugar-Glazed Pork Loin Chops
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sweet aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbl. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. A1 Steak Sauce
  • 1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp. fresh finely chopped thyme, (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
  • 1/2 tsp. sriracha chili sauce
  • 1/2 Tbl. EVOO
  • 2 thick-cut pork loin chops (1 1/2 lbs.)
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • In small bowl or 2-cup glass measuring pitcher, whisk together first ingredients up to EVOO well. While whisking, stream in EVOO until well incorporated.
  • Crack fresh black pepper from pepper mill over each side of chops and place into a small ziplock bag. Drizzle 1 1/2 Tbl. of marinade over each side of chops in bag using 3 Tbl. total. Seal bag closed well and squish around to coat well. Reserve rest of marinade, cover and refrigerate chops and marinade. Marinate chops for 3-4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
  • When ready to grill, remove chops and reserved marinade from fridge. Heat gas grill to High to get going. When hot, reduce to Medium/Medium-Low. Oil grates well with vegetable oil-soaked paper towels with tongs and place chops onto hot grates. Close lid and keep grill at about 350 degrees as best you can. Grill for 8-10 minutes, rotating (not turning) a half-turn once for cross-hatch grill marks and checking to make sure they aren't burning. (*Move to a cooler spot if they are. All grills cook differently and have hot spots.)
  • After 8-10 minutes, turn over and repeat. When about 1-2 minutes left start basting. Turn and baste each side several times using up as much marinade as possible. (If your grill is getting them too done, turn off one of the burners and cook over a more indirect heat.)
  • When done, remove to a platter to rest for a few minutes before cutting into so that the juices have time to settle down and don't run out when you slice into them.
  • Serve them whole, or slice and fan onto plates.

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