Try tracking down Berkshire pork for this recipe. The heirloom breed has a higher fat content than most supermarket varieties (nimanranch.com and heritagefoodsusa.com are excellent sources). If you strike out, the bourbon-spiked brine will yield flavorful results with any kind of pork. Recipe serves two.
1) Combine brown sugar, salt and rosemary in a large bowl. Add hot water and whisk until brown sugar and salt are dissolved. Let steep five minutes. Stir in cold water, bourbon and oil. Pour this mixture over chops, turning the meat a couple of times to coat evenly. Refrigerate for two hours, turning once after an hour. Pat dry before grilling.
2) Build a two-zone fire on your grill. If using a charcoal grill, mound hot charcoal on one side, leaving other side cold. If using a gas grill, turn half the burners to medium-high. Cook chops on cool side, covered, about 15 minutes. To finish cooking, move chops to hot side and cook until grill marks appear and an instant-read thermometer reaches 140 degrees—about five minutes per side. Let chops rest another five minutes before serving to keep juices from spilling out.
3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. kosher salt
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup hot water
2 cups cold water
4 tbsp. bourbon
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 one-inch-thick bone-in pork-rib chops
How to get the heat just right
Beef can stand up to a blazing grill, but pork requires a more moderate heat to coax out its flavors yet remain unctuous and tender. High heat can dry out lean cuts of pork or cause fatty cuts to flare up and scorch. Get the right temperature by letting the coals cool down or setting your gas grill to medium. Place the palm of your hand five inches above the grate. If you can count to seven before having to pull it away, you’re good to grill.