Two ways to cook . . . pork chops

Pork chops get the American treatment this week, with a dry rub for the barbecue, and a rack served with smoky bacon molasses sauce

 

Gary’s way... Pork rack with sweet potato mash, smoky bacon molasses sauce & spinach

Irish free-range pork simply doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It always amazes me why pork plays a lesser role in our menus than beef or lamb. Maybe us chefs should keep fighting and continue to place it on our menus? But it’s a tough sell. Why? I’ve no idea. It’s treated as second class compared to other meats. But when reared correctly, fed properly and then cooked and served with imagination, it really is a mystery as to why it isn’t more popular.

I’ve paired it here with a lovely smoked bacon molasses sauce, giving it a barbecue vibe, but more importantly I’ve kept it on the bone. This is something that should be done whenever possible with pork. Remember though, keep it Irish and keep it free-range.

Vanessa’s way... Texas pork chops with rainbow slaw

My husband says rub ’n’ mop is this barbecue season’s top trend. Instead of marinating meat hours in advance, or the night before, dry rubs are all the rage. Simple and quick, they can be applied a few minutes before your meat heads for the grill, and with less oil, you’ll also have fewer flare ups.

What better way to make use of those dried herbs and spices in your larder. No matter how inclement the weather, my husband is never happier than when outside with a beer and a basting brush and some gooey, sticky liquid to mop the meat with. The rainbow slaw with apple cuts the spice of the pork chop and looks great. If you’re not one for firing up the barbecue in all weathers, these chops can be grilled in your home oven under a medium hot grill.

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