Cumin-Orange-Honey Marinade

This Spanish-inspired marinade has a sweet, spicy, smoky flavor that works well with not only pork but a wide range of meats and vegetables, so feel free to experiment.

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Whether you’re cooking boneless or bone-in pork chops, whether you’re grilling, sautéing, roasting, broiling, or pan-frying, the rule for pork chops is to cook them to an internal temperature of 145°—which yields moist, juicy, and slightly-pink-in-the-middle pork. So be attentive and don’t overcook them and dry the chops out.

The directions indicate you should toss the extra marinade, but with flavors that exciting, we decided to bring it to a boil in a small sauce pan for 5 minutes, reduce it down, and serve as a sauce for the pork.

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Ingredients

  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice from 1 1/2 large oranges
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 4 thick, bone-in, pork chops
  • Thinly sliced chives, for garnish

Directions

  • Finely chop the garlic. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, and then smear and mash to a paste using the flat side of a chef’s knife, or a small mortar and pestle.
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  • Whisk the garlic paste with the orange juice, vinegar, honey, olive oil, cumin, paprika, coriander, and cayenne.
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  • Put the chops in a nonreactive (stainless steel, glass, or plastic) container and pour the marinade over them, turning to coat on all sides. Marinate the pork for at least 1 hour at room temperature. Or if you plan to marinate up to 24 hours, put meat in a ziploc and refrigerate until ready to cook.
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  • When ready to grill, heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat (400°F to 475°F).
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  • Remove the chops from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Grill the pork, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes total over direct heat until the center registers 145 degrees with a digital meat thermometer. If the chops starting getting too charred and they are not yet done, move them over to the indirect heat side of the grill for a couple of more minutes.
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  • Tent with foil for 5-10 to allow juices to redistribute. Season with more salt to taste, and garnish with the chives before serving.

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Adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe by Joanne Smart

 

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