Grilled Pork Chops with Orange Barbecue Sauce

Mario Batali brushes citrusy-spicy barbecue sauce on pork chops after they're almost cooked through so the sauce doesn't burn on the grill. He prefers flavoring the sauce with blood orange juice, which is less acidic than classic orange juice, but both are good.


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  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Time(Other): plus 4 hr marinating


  • 1 quart plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, preferably blood orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder, or other pure chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick (10 to 12 ounces each)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 jalapeños, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • Salt
  • 1 orange, preferably a blood orange, sliced crosswise (8 slices)

How to make this recipe

  1. In each of 2 large resealable plastic bags, combine 2 tablespoons of the orange juice, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of chile powder and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. Seal the bags and shake to mix. Add 4 pork chops to each bag, seal and shake again to coat the chops. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

  2. Light a grill. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining 1 quart of orange juice with the ketchup, garlic, jalapeños, vinegar and fennel seeds and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Season the barbecue sauce with salt.

  3. Season the pork chops with salt and grill over a medium-hot fire until nicely charred and just pink in the center, about 12 minutes per side. Brush a thick layer of barbecue sauce on each chop, cover the grill and cook until the pork is nicely glazed, about 3 minutes. Top each chop with an orange slice and serve.

Make Ahead

The pork chops can be marinated overnight. The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

These meaty chops with their tangy sauce benefit from an equally juicy, meaty red. Merlot—a perfectly respectable grape that's been unjustly bashed by wine snobs—often has that character.

Contributed By Published September 2006

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