By DAVE LOBECK
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
If you are a regular reader of this column, you know by now I feel pork, specifically pork loin, is one of the best grilling/cooking meats there is.
It is lean, affordable and versatile. In today’s column I will encourage you to go out and buy a pork loin and prepare two great meals: one on the grill and one in the kitchen.
Sometimes you can find pork loin on sale for $2.99 per pound. You will always pay under $4 per pound at a supermarket. It will be a bit more expensive at a premium meat shop, but well worth it. I bought a 5 pound loin and split it evenly between these two recipes.
SPICE-RUBBED PORK CHOPS
With a sharp knife, cut 1 to 1 1⁄4 inch chop “steaks” off of the loin. You should end up with 4 to 6 chops depending on how thick you cut them. Remember, the other half of the loin is used in the next recipe, so put the uncut portion in a ziplock bag and place in the fridge.
Prepare the rub
2 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS paprika
1 TBS coarsely ground black pepper
1 TBS kosher or sea salt
1 TBS granulated garlic
1 TBS onion powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Liberally sprinkle both sides of the chops with the rub and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Start your grill. (This works perfectly on charcoal or gas). You will want fairly hot coals or place your gas grill on medium high.
Once heated, clean the grate with a steel brush and rub down with olive oil on a wad of paper towel. Place chops directly over coals or flame. Depending on the thickness, grill the first side for roughly five minutes. Turn and grill for roughly four minutes. Pull the chops when they hit 140 degrees. They will rise to 145 degrees while resting for five minutes. Serve and enjoy.
PORK STIR FRY
Liz threw this together the next night, and it was really good. Cut the second piece of pork loin into thin strips. (This was the equivalent of three three-fourths inch chops). In medium bowl combine one-third cup of soy sauce, 1 tsp. sesame oil, 1 tsp. of honey and 1 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce or one-half teaspoon dried chili flakes. Add pork strips to bowl and stir. Set aside.
Liz likes to use whatever veggies are in the fridge for stir-fry. Our fridge contained a red pepper and two bags of sugar snap peas, and mushrooms. We always have plenty of onions in the pantry and she found a large bag of almonds as well. She toasted the almonds in the oven (about 8 minutes in 350 oven) ... take out as soon as they begin to brown.
Thinly slice one medium onion, the red pepper, and the mushrooms. Heat a wok or large skillet on high heat. Add enough vegetable oil to coat the pan (about 1 tablespoon). Add onion and red pepper and saute, stirring veggies as they cook. After a minute, add peas, continue stirring for another couple of minutes before adding mushrooms. Cook just until all veggies are tender-crisp. Remove from pan and place in a bowl. Add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. When heated, add meat and stir-fry until meat is browned and cooked through. Add veggies back to pan. If you like more sauce with your stir-fry, at this point you can combine pne-third cup soy sauce, 1 tsp. Sriracha, a few tablespoons of water, and 1 tsp. corn starch. Mix well. Push veggies aside in pan, and with heat on medium-high, add sauce, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken. Serve over rice.
— Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. Liz is his wife. He is also a Kansas City Barbecue Society judge. You can contact Dave with your BBQ and grilling questions by emailing him at email@example.com or at BBQ-My-Way.com