Rubbed Grilled Pork Chops with Gremolata

This is really two great recipes — one for the rub and one for the gremolata. The rub is a great all-purpose rub that works well on pork, chicken and even hearty fish. And the gremolata is a great foil for the smoky savoriness of the meat. To keep it green, pour it into a mason jar and top with a thin layer of oil before refrigerating. Yields 6 servings.

Ingredients for the rub:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 6 pork rib chops, about a half inch thick

Ingredients for the gremolata:

  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 8 sprigs oregano
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 chile pepper, as hot as you like
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Combine all of the rub ingredients and mix well. With the tip of a very sharp knife, slightly score both sides of the chops in a very wide cross hatch — no more than two cuts in each direction. Score the fat on the sides finely.
  2. Sprinkle the rub on both sides of each chop and vigorously rub it into the scores and fat. Set aside for up to 4 hours.
  3. Cut the bunch of parsley at the tenders, the two inches of stem beneath the lowest leaves, and save the stems for stock. Pick the oregano leaves over the parsley. Zest the lemon over the parsley mixture.
  4. Finely mince the shallot and the garlic and add to the parsley. De-seed and de-rib the chile pepper, then mince finely.
  5. Using a rocking motion, mince the parsley mixture very finely. Go over it several times, folding the mixture over itself after each pass so that it's evenly minced.
  6. Scoop the mixture into a bowl and add the olive oil, the juice of half of a lemon, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and taste for seasoning. Set aside and grill the chops when ready.
  7. Over the hot side of a grill, cook the chops on one side about 6 to 8 minutes, then flip and cook another 4 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, you want the centers of the chops to blush pink.
  8. Let rest 10 minutes and serve hot with the gremolata on the side.