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Backyard Blogging.

Todd Richards Pork Chops

These incredible Todd Richards pork chops are treated with a sweet tea brine and cooked on the Big Green Egg.


4 10-oz (283 g) bone-in pork chops (about ½ in (13 mm) thick)
4 cups (32 oz) Sweet Tea Brine (recipe follows)
2 tbsp (30 ml) blended olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt
1 tsp (5 ml) coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup (4 oz) bourbon
¼ cup (2 oz) unsalted butter
Apple Butter and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (recipe follows)


Combine the pork and Sweet Tea Brine in a large baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Remove the pork chops from the brine; discard brine. Let the pork chops come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Rub the pork chops with the oil, and sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper.

Bring the bourbon to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Set aside.

Set the EGG for direct cooking without the convEGGtor at 450°F/232°C.

Grill the pork chops until golden brown and slightly crispy on the bottom, about 6 minutes, basting occasionally with the bourbon butter. Turn the pork chops and cook until the meat begins to draw close to the bone, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack; let stand 15 minutes, basting occasionally with any remaining bourbon butter. Serve with Apple Butter, Spiced Pumpkin Seeds and collard greens as a side.

Apple Butter Ingredients

½ cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
8 red apples, cored
¼ cup (60 ml) packed light brown sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
½ tsp (3 ml) ground cloves
½ tsp (3 ml) ground allspice
½ tsp (3 ml) kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Apple Butter Instructions

Set the EGG for indirect cooking with the convEGGtor at 350F/177C.  Combine the melted butter and apples in a baking dish, turning to coat the apples in the butter. Bake until the apples are very tender and the skins pop, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Sprinkle the apples with the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, kosher salt and pepper. Return to the EGG until the sugar melts, about 5 minutes. Remove from the EGG, and let stand 15 minutes. Transfer the apple mixture to a blender and process until smooth. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate overnight.
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients
2 tbsp (30 ml) blended olive oil
1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin seeds
½ tsp (3 ml) gray sea salt
½ tsp (3 ml) curry powder
¼ tsp (1.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds Instructions

Set the EGG for indirect cooking with the convEGGtor at 350F/177C. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet in the EGG; add the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the EGG. Stir in the sea salt, curry powder, and pepper. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
Sweet Tea Brine Ingredients
8 cups (64 oz water)
8 regular-size orange pekoe black tea bags
1 cup (240 ml) granulated sugar
1 cup (240 ml) kosher salt
1 tbsp (15 ml) black peppercorns
¼ tsp (1.5 ml) red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves
4 star anise pods
4 bay leaves
2 large thyme sprigs
2 medium-size oranges, cut into quarters
1 large lemon, cut into quarters

Sweet Tea Brine Instructions

Bring the water just to boiling in a large saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Let stand 5 minutes; remove and discard the tea bags. Add the remaining ingredients, squeezing the citrus juice into the pan as you add them. Return to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Remove the solids and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Makes about 2 quarts.

Recipe and photo from Big Green Egg.