Grilled Pork Porterhouse Adobada

Inch-and-1/2-thick pork porterhouse steaks (New York and filet attached) are seasoned with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, then quickly seared over an open fire before being slathered in a rich red chile sauce flavored with toasted cumin, coriander and garlic, with coffee beans, guajillo honey, cloves and fresh lime juice.  The chops are dressed with toasted corn, fresh avocado and slivered radishes..

For the Adobada

4 large dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 whole cloves
1 heaping tablespoon whole coffee beans
1-1/2 tablespoons fermented ketchup
2 teaspoons raw cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (more or less) guajillo honey
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
fine sea salt to taste

Toast chiles, cumin, coriander, garlic and coffee in a dry comal or heavy skillet over medium-low heat until the chiles are pliant and the coriander begins to pop, about 5 minutes.

Put the toasted chiles and cloves into a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Allow to stand 20 minutes.

Transfer soaked chiles, cloves, cumin, coriander, garlic and coffee to the bowl of a food processor.  Add the ketchup, vinegar, honey and lime juice and process until thoroughly combined.

With the blade of the food processor spinning, slowly pour in enough of the chile soaking water until the sauce is thinned enough to barely coat the back of a spoon.

Season the sauce to taste with sea salt and if necessary, adjust the bitterness with just a little more honey.

Hold for service.

To assemble, season pork chops with salt and pepper and allow to stand at room temperature while you prepare your grill in the usual fashion (I like to use charcoal and soaked mesquite wood chunks).

Once the grill is seriously hot,  place the chops on the lightly-oiled grate and sear 3-4 minutes without moving (to get great grill marks and to help prevent sticking).  Turn the chops over and grill another 3-4 minutes, again without moving.

Move the chops to the cooler side of the grill and baste heavily with adobada sauce. Cover the grill and roast chops for 10 minutes.  Turn the chops over, baste and cover for another 5 minutes.

Transfer chops to a serving platter and dress with toasted corn, avocado, slivered radishes and a spoonful of adobada sauce.

Grilled Red Wattle with Apples, Onions and Sage

Thick-cut, locally pastured Red Wattle pork chops are marinated overnight in fresh apple juice, garlic, sage, sea salt and black pepper, then grilled over an open wood fire to medium doneness.  The tender, moist chops are served with a glaze of caramelized onions and apples with a side of roasted baby Brussels sprouts with croûtons..

“The Red Wattle hog is a large, red hog with a fleshy, decorative, wattle attached to each side of its neck that has no known function.  The origin and history of the Red Wattle breed is considered scientifically obscure, though many different ancestral stories are known.  One theory is that the French colonists brought the Red Wattle Hogs to the United States from New Caledonia Island off the coast of Australia in the late 1700’s.  As they adapted well to the land, the Red Wattle quickly became a popular breed in the US.

Unfortunately, as settlers moved west, the breed began to fall out of favor because settlers came into contact with breeds that boasted a higher fat content, which was important for lard and soap.  Red Wattles were left to roam the hills of eastern Texas, where they were hunted to near extinction, until Mr. H.C. Wengler came across a herd in the dense forest and began breeding them into what they are today. Five year later, in a similar incident, Robert Prentice located another herd of Red Wattle hogs, which became known as the Timberline herd, after its wooded origins in eastern Texas…

Red Wattle pork is exceptionally lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture.”  –Slow Food USA