Tag Archives: potato skewers

Armenian Grill: Pork with Pepper Sauce & Skewered Potatoes

Khorovats is Armenian barbecue. Here, thick-cut, bone-in pork chops, are marinated in a mix of onion and oregano, then grilled with wood chips to infuse the pork with smokiness. According to Milk Street where we found this recipe, bone-in, blade-end pork loin chops are the best cut because they contain a good amount of fat, which keeps the meat moist and flavorful; but rib chops will work, too (because they are leaner, it’s important not to overcook them).

In a nod to son David’s fiancée Vikki, who has Armenian heritage, we decided to make this meal paired with another dish from the same country, Armenian Grilled Potato Skewers (recipe below). It’s pretty important to get spuds that are the same size, but was an impossible task at the time we were grocery shopping. So we had several that were larger and had to preboil them a bit longer as well as grill them several more minutes.

Left, Vikki and David hold dog Olive while they patiently wait for dinner to be served.

The sauce that accompanies these chops is also excellent with any grilled pork or chicken. All-in-all we agreed it was fabulous, our only complaint was that the garlic cloves could have been softer. I admit, I did choose large cloves, so cutting them in half or going smaller would most likely have remedied that issue.

The consensus was unanimous, we all LOVED the dinner!!

Tip: Don’t soak the wood chips before wrapping them in foil. Dry chips smoke more readily, which is desirable for quick-cooking foods such as pork chops. After placing the pork on the grill, don’t open the lid for 10 minutes. This allows the smoke to collect and create a more intense smokiness in the chops.

Armenian Grilled Pork Chops with Pepper Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For the Pork Chops

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 10- to 14-oz. bone-in pork chops, each 1 to 1½ inches thick
  • 3 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 cups apple wood chips (for smoking)

For the Sauce

  • 1 lb. plum tomatoes (4 medium), cored
  • 12 oz. Cubanelle peppers, Hungarian wax peppers or Anaheim chilies, stemmed, kept whole and seeded
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions

  1. To prepare the chops, in a food processor, combine the oil, onion, oregano, 2 tablespoons salt and 1 tablespoon pepper. Process to form a coarse paste, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as needed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Using a paring knife, make verticals cuts spaced about ½ inch apart into the fat on each chop. Add the chops to the onion paste and turn to coat, rubbing the mixture into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before heating the grill.
  2. Loosely wrap the wood chips in a 12-by-18-inch sheet of foil, forming a flat packet roughly 7 inches square. Poke several holes in each side of the packet. Prepare a grill for indirect, high-heat cooking. For a charcoal grill, pour a heaping chimney of hot coals evenly over one side of the grill bed and set the wood chip packet on the coals; open the bottom grill vents and lid vents. For a gas grill, place the wood chip packet directly on one burner that will remain on during cooking; turn all burners to high. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate. If using a gas grill, turn off one burner, leaving the remaining burner(s) on high.
  3. To prepare the sauce, while grill heats, in a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, peppers and oil. Place the vegetables on the hot side of the grill, then cover and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred all over, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to an 8-inch square disposable foil pan and add the garlic, 2 tablespoons of butter and the oregano. Cover with foil and poke a few holes in the foil, then place the pan on the cool side of the grill. Scrape any excess marinade off the pork chops and place the chops on the cool side of the grill alongside the foil pan. Cover the grill, positioning the lid vents over the pork chops if using a charcoal grill. Cook without lifting the lid for 10 minutes.
  4. Move the chops to the hot side of the grill and cook, uncovered and turning occasionally, until well-browned on both sides and the centers near the bone are just barely pink when cut into or reach 135°F, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter, place 1 piece of the butter on each chop and tent with foil. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, uncover the pan; the vegetables and garlic cloves should be completely softened. Using a fork, mash the vegetables until broken down but a bit chunky. Use tongs to remove and discard any large pieces of tomato or pepper skins that do not break down. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until melted, followed by the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with the pork.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Armenian Grilled Potato Skewers

When purchasing potatoes for this recipe, look for ones about the size of an extra-large egg and that weigh about 2 ounces each and are of similar shape and size. The potatoes can be precooked and refrigerated up to a day in advance; just before grilling, skewer them, brush with melted butter and season with salt and pepper.

You’ll need three or four sturdy 12- to 14-inch metal skewers; skewers with pins that are flat rather than round or square help prevent the potatoes from spinning around, making them easier to manage on the grill. Place the skewered potatoes on the hot side of the grill after you’ve removed the pork chops and allow the potatoes to brown while the chops rest.

Keep in mind, you don’t want to precook the potatoes at a rolling boil which can cause the skins to split (which did happen to a few of ours). Aim to keep the water at a gentle but constant simmer. Don’t skewer the potatoes without first chilling them in an ice bath. Chilling firms the potatoes slightly so that they cut more cleanly when scored with a paring knife.

Armenian Grilled Potato Skewers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. small Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, melted
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh oregano
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Directions

  1. In a large pot over high, bring the potatoes and enough water to cover by about 1 inch to a boil. Reduce to medium-high, cover partially and cook until a paring knife inserted into the largest potato meets just a little resistance, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle but steady simmer, 8 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then transfer to the ice water. Let stand for 10 minutes. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Thread the potatoes lengthwise onto each of three 12- to 14-inch flat metal skewers, dividing them evenly. Using a paring knife, make 4 or 5 parallel crosswise cuts into each potato, stopping when knife blade reaches the skewer; leave the second sides of the potatoes uncut. Brush the potatoes on all sides with about ½ of the melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare a grill for high-heat cooking. For a charcoal grill, pour a large chimney of hot coals evenly over one side of the grill bed and open the bottom grill vents and lid vents; for a gas grill, heat all burners to high. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.
  4. Place the skewered potatoes on the hot side of the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter, brush with the remaining melted butter. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper and the oregano. Serve with lemon wedges.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Both recipes by Diane Unger for Mik street