Chef Jim Christiansen likes grilling rich pork collar or blade chops because they stay nice and juicy. To make them sweet and sticky, he glazes the chops on the grill with a deeply flavored onion ash and barley malt syrup.
Slideshow:More Grilled Pork Recipes
4 yellow onions—2 peeled, quartered and separated into petals, and 2 peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup barley malt syrup (see Note)
Four 1-inch-thick meaty pork blade chops (3 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 pound Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon finely grated garlic
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spread the onion petals on the foil and roast for about 1 hour, until completely black. Transfer to a blender and blend until powdery black ash forms.
In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed oil. Add the chopped onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the syrup and onion ash; remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the blender and puree until smooth. Scrape the glaze into a medium bowl and season with salt.
Light a grill. Rub the pork chops with 2 tablespoons of the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning and basting occasionally with the onion glaze, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a chop registers 140°, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chops to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the eggplant with the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until nicely charred and tender, about 8 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the herbs with the lemon zest, cinnamon and garlic and season with salt. Thinly slice the chops and transfer to plates. Add the eggplant and sprinkle with the cinnamon gremolata. Serve with lemon wedges.