In his new cookbook A TASTE OF COWBOY: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kent Rollins shares recipes and stories from his life as a cowboy cook, providing a glimpse in to life on the trail where personalities run high and a passion for cooking comfort food over live fire runs deep.
Today Rollins shares his recipe for grilled pork chops with green chile-chipotle relish, as well as a story from the first time he cooked up a batch of chops on a ranch that was all about beef.
“I remember the first time I planned a meal on a ranch that included grilled pork chops. It was a cow ranch that raised beef, ate beef, sold beef, and lived beef. I thought to myself, “Will I get a chapping for this?” When I pulled out those thick chops, I got some strange looks, but no one spoke because they all knew the cowboy code: Don’t question the cook! After the dishes were in the wreck pan, one of them old-timers came up to me and said, “You’re a brave cook to pull out a hog on a cow outfit, but that was the best chop I ever ate.” Coating the chops in lime juice and wrapping them in tinfoil helps seal in the moisture, because pork can dry out easily.” – Kent Rollins
GRILLED PORK CHOPS WITH GREEN CHILE–CHIPOTLE RELISH
1½ tablespoons seasoned salt
1½ tablespoons coarse-ground black pepper
4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
Lime juice for seasoning
Green Chile–Chipotle Relish (recipe follows)
1. Combine the seasoned salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub both sides of the pork chops generously with a splash of lime juice. Lightly coat each side of the chops with the meat tenderizer. Repeat with the salt mixture and rub in.
2. Place the chops on a dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, to let the seasonings absorb.
3. Bring the pork chops to room temperature. Preheat a grill to medium-high.
4. Wrap the chops in tinfoil and place on the grill over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side.
5. Remove the foil from the chops and grill on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until medium. Be careful not to overcook because pork easily dries out. Spread with the relish and serve immediately.
Green Chile–Chipotle Relish
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
1 (4-ounce) can green chilies
1 cup sugar
1. Remove the chipotle peppers from the can and dice.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the diced chipotle peppers with adobo sauce with the Ro-Tel, green chilies, and sugar. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens slightly and is warmed through. Cool to warm.
Recipes and photography from A TASTE OF COWBOY: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail by Kent Rollins. Copyright © 2015 by Kent Rollins. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.