Dairy-Free Garlic and ‘Butter’ Pork Chops

Get out your cast iron, fire up your grill, and enjoy the warm summer evenings with this delectable dish!

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I’ve never been a huge fan of pork chops (not a great way to start a post with a recipe for pork chops, huh?). I think it was because I just didn’t have a lot of well-cooked pork chops growing up – sorry, mom – because I just think of them as dry and plain.

So, OF COURSE, it is karma that my husband harvested 2 wild boar and we inherited some pork from my in-laws’ ranch and I now have more pork chops, pork steaks, and other pork cuts I’ve never heard of and have no idea what to do with.

In an effort to get through our freezer stash, I thawed out some pork chops and decided to try my hand at them. Plus, it was one of the first days in the last week or so that it wasn’t too smokey from all of the fires happening in California so it was a perfect excuse to get outside and fire up the grill.

I knew I wanted to use butter to make sure the pork chops kept a nice, rich flavor, but we’re eating mostly dairy-free right now (a personal choice as we notice our digestion is so much better without it; plus, it can inhibit your iron uptake, which is something this anemic mama likes to avoid!).

And you guys – I did a GOOD thing. For someone who doesn’t care for pork chops, I had to go back for seconds! The mix of the herbs, plus the richness of the vegan butter kept them nice and juicy and added the right mix of spice to give them a nice, bright taste. Even my toddler, who is getting pickier by the day, asked for seconds!!

So fire up that grill and enjoy, y’all – this is the perfect way to get outside while you still can and revel in the last days of summer!

One thing to note — You don’t have to make these on the grill. You can simply use your cast iron on the stove! To be honest, I struggle to not set the smoke alarm off whenever I’m using the cast iron inside because I need the pan to get HOT, which generates too much smoke for the house.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a cast iron, you could use a regular frying pan, and make sure you have the heat as hot as it can get when initially searing the pork. Note that it may take a little longer to cook the pork chops.

Have you made these? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 2 adults)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large pork chops
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 stick vegan butter (I like the Mykonos brand)

DIRECTIONS:
Combine your dry spices (oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper) and divide them into two small bowl. Put your pork chops in a glass bowl or container, and add in the olive oil, making sure both sides of both pork chops are coated evenly. Divide one of the spice bowls between the two pork chops and rub them in. Add half of the minced garlic to the top of the chops, and rub it in so everything is evenly distributed across each pork chop. Flip the chops over, and do the same with the remainder of the spices and garlic. Cover, and let marinate for 30-60 minutes before you cook them.

About 10 minutes before you are ready to cook, turn on your grill and let it get HOT. Once it is heated, put your cast iron pan on the grill to let it pre-heat.

When your cast iron pan is piping hot, put your pork chops into the pan and sear on each side for about 1-2 minutes. You want them to get that golden crust on them!

Once you have seared each side, turn your grill down to medium heat. After turning the heat down, add your 1/2 stick of butter to the cast iron, and baste the tops of the pork chops with the melted butter (I use a large metal serving spoon or soup spoon to do this).

Let your pork chops cook through while frequently basting, about 10 minutes or so. Use a meat thermometer to make sure they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees (and cook for longer if needed until it gets there!). It is okay if they are still a little pink inside as long as they have hit at least 145 degrees!

Once cooked through, remove your chops from the pan, and enjoy! We like to eat these with a crisp green veggie side like steamed asparagus or a summer salad, and a whole grain carb like wild rice.

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