dinner · entree · pork

Al Pastor Pork Chops

I’ve been in a tizzy trying to clean out my freezer. My freezer was in such bad shape: things thrown in willy-nilly, half packages of pie crusts and frozen vegetables, freezer-burned items. A much needed deep-clean was in store for me.

I had six pork chops in there of various varieties. A couple of bone-in sirloin chops & a few thick-cut boneless chops were just screaming at me to be cooked. It was my mission to whip them up into something delicious after a day or so to thaw out in the fridge.

I found this recipe and went to town on it. Along with using up my freezer cache of pork, I also got to open a bag of frozen chipotle peppers in adobo. I love chipotle peppers in adobo, but they only come in those huge cans—and most recipes just call for a couple of peppers. I’ve found that putting the rest in a bag and freezing them works really well. They thaw out easily and don’t lose flavor.

I should have also cracked into my two huge bags of frozen, roasted Hatch green chiles, but I didn’t spot them until it was too late. Next time, green chiles. Next time.

This recipe is a good one to use up any pork chops you have—and it’s something different. Pork can be hard to flavor and make interesting. It easy to end up overcooked, dry, and bland. Marinating pork chops in this spicy mixture—plus the wonderfully flavorful compound butter topping—nixes the bland dryness. It’s perfect, in my opinion.

To make the compound butter topping, make sure you let the sticks of butter soften on the counter. In a time crunch? Lay out the butter on your stovetop while you cook the pork. The warmth from the burner will soften them right up in no time. It’s my favorite kitchen hack.

I prefer using fresh pineapple for recipes like this, but feel free to use canned, chopped pineapple. Just make sure it’s packed in water, and not syrup. That syrup-packed stuff is just a little too much sugar for these spicy chops.

Al Pastor Pork Chops

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Spicy, flavorful grilled pork chops with a sweet and tangy compound butter made with pineapple, cilantro, and red onion.

Ingredients

  • 6 pork chops (bone-in or boneless, dealers choice)
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 3 TBS. olive oil
  • 1 TBS. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 TBS. cumin
  • 1/2 TBS. garlic powder
  • 1 TBS. oregano
  • salt & pepper

For the butter:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 TBS. sugar or sweetener, like erythritol

Directions

  1. In a food processor, bend the chipotle peppers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper until smooth. Slather mixture on pork chops and place in a resealable container. Let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a large grill pan. Grill chops, a few at a time, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees when done. Let chops rest while making the butter.
  3. Make the compound butter: combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and blend with a spoon or spatula. Spoon on top of pork chops to serve. Butter will keep in the fridge, in tupperware, for about 5 days.

Step-By-Step Instructions

In a food processor, bend the chipotle peppers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper until smooth.

Slather mixture on pork chops and place in a resealable container. Let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

Heat remaining oil in a large grill pan. Grill chops, a few at a time, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees when done. Let chops rest while making the butter.

Make the compound butter: combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and blend with a spoon or spatula. Spoon on top of pork chops to serve. Butter will keep in the fridge, in tupperware, for about 5 days.

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