Grilled Pork Chops with Concord Grapes

Star chef Mario Batali’s fantastic savory-sweet dish will convert anyone skeptical about combining meat and fruit. He uses Concord grapes but says that pretty little Champagne grapes or even blueberries work well in the recipe, too.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Time(Other): Plus 4 hours brining


  • 1/2 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 bone-in pork rib chops, cut 1 1/4 inches thick (10 ounces each)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pepper
  • 1 pound seedless purple grapes, stemmed (3 cups), preferably Concord
  • Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large bowl, stir the salt, sugar and boiling water until the sugar dissolves. Let cool until lukewarm. Add the chops and refrigerate for 4 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. Place the garlic on a sheet of foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Wrap tightly and roast until very soft, 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze the cloves from the skins and mash.

  3. Light a grill and oil the grate. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry. Rub all over with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until lightly charred and just cooked through, 10 minutes. Transfer to plates; keep warm.

  4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the grapes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until they start
    to burst, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and half of the mashed garlic and cook, stirring, until incorporated, 1 minute. Reserve the remaining garlic for another use. Transfer the grapes to the plates. Drizzle the chops and grapes with vinegar and serve.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published October 2014

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