Pork Chops with Smoky Mole-Style Rub
© Christina Holmes

Pork Chops with Smoky Mole-Style Rub


This Mexican-inspired spice rub is also delicious on steak and chicken legs. The combination of paprika and ancho chile powder enhances the meat’s smoky grilled flavor.


  1. 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  2. 2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
  3. 1 tablespoon muscovado or dark brown sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  5. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  6. 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  7. 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  8. 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  9. Four 1-inch-thick pork rib chops (about 2 3/4 pounds)
  10. Kosher salt
  11. Freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool, then finely grind.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the ground cumin with the smoked paprika, brown sugar, chile powder, oregano, garlic, cocoa powder and sesame seeds.
  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and rub 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture all over each chop.
  4. Grill the chops over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 135°, about 12 minutes. Transfer the pork chops to a carving board or platter and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead

The spice rub can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Suggested Pairing

Merlot often has a chocolaty note—perfect with the cocoa in this rub. Try one from Washington state.