Now that the warmer months are here, you’ve probably been busting out your grill (and a chilled glass of wine) to cook that perfect steak. But to mix things up a bit, next time you’re at the butcher, take a gander at those delicious-looking, thick, bone-in pork chops, which are also ideal for the grill. When it comes to grilling pork, the thicker, the better; the bone helps retain as much moisture as possible—and I think it’s more visually appealing than boneless chops or tenderloin.
The best part about this recipe is its versatility. If you have the time, marinate the pork in your favorite store-bought or homemade concoction. Soy sauce for umami, lemon juice for acidity, honey for sweetness—use up whatever you’ve got in your pantry. Here, though, as long as your pork is dry and at room temperature, a simple mix of salt, pepper and paprika is all you need. The juicy pork chop is flavorful enough on its own that a simple seasoning will satisfy you and your guests.
You can also pair these chops with whatever sides you enjoy most. Chop up a medley of vegetables and grill them alongside the pork, or steam some asparagus or broccoli (which I’ve done here), or serve with homemade mac and cheese for the ultimate comfort-food dinner.
I love the addition of pepperoncini peppers on top of the pork. Not only do they add color, they give a little kick and crunch to every bite. You can place them over the pork straight out of the jar, or let them cook alongside your sides to soften a bit and use the jarred juices to flavor whatever else you’re serving.
This recipe is easy to scale up for however many pork chops you need, or you can make extra to save time for future meals. They keep well in the fridge for about three days after cooking, or you could freeze them for a few months. Use the meat in stir-fries or sandwiches, or just gnaw on them still on the bone for a super-quick lunch.
My family and I typically enjoy this dinner with a lively California or Oregon Pinot Noir that emphasizes fresh red berry and cherry fruit, which helps counter the kick of the peppers, and shows light toasty oak notes or a touch of spice, echoing the smoke of the grill and the seasoning.
Grilled Pork Chops with Pepperoncini Peppers and Steamed Broccoli
Pair with a juicy Pinot Noir with bright red fruit flavors and some spice notes such as the J. Lohr Pinot Noir Monterey County Falcon’s Perch 2020 (88 points, $17), in which a paprika note mingles with the fruit. As alternatives, try Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Evolution 2019 (89, $20) from Oregon or Castle Rock PInot Noir Russian River Valley Reserve 2020 (87, $16) from Sonoma County.
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Approximate food costs: $30
- 2 (1 1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork loin chops
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for the grill
- 1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 8 to 10 jarred pepperoncini peppers
1. Pat pork chops dry with paper towels. Generously season both sides with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with paprika. Rub seasoning into meat with your fingers. Let sit until pork comes to room temperature, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
2. Prepare a gas grill for medium-high heat and oil the grates, or heat a grill pan on the stove over medium-high. Grill pork chops, turning halfway through, until grill marks appear and the meat is cooked through, about 8 to 12 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chop should register 145° F. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. While pork rests, arrange broccoli in a steamer basket. Fill a medium saucepan with about 1 inch water and bring to a boil. Place basket in pot, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes, adding pepperoncini during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
4. Transfer peppers to cutting board or plate. Transfer broccoli to a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat while still warm.
5. Divide pork chops between plates. Place a few peppers on top of each chop. Serve with broccoli alongside. Serves 2 to 4, depending on chop size and appetite.