Grilled Pork Chops with Burst Blueberry Sauce


Gorgeous summer fruit and grilling are at the heart of writer Nicole A. Taylor's Juneteenth menu. Here, she takes blueberries for a savory spin, blending the berries with shallots, thyme, and chipotles in adobo to create a sticky sauce that showcases the floral notes of the fruit, while red wine and balsamic vinegar add a tart backbone that brings the flavors into focus. This sauce pairs beautifully with almost any grilled meat; here Taylor spoons it over juicy grilled pork rib chops. Summer berries tend to be sweeter; if you're cooking this recipe with out-of-season berries, gradually add sugar as needed.

Grilled Pork Chops with Burst Blueberry Sauce
Photo: Photo by Jessica Pettway / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Paola Andrea
Active Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins


  • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 large shallot (about 2 1/4 ounces), finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, plus thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) dry red wine

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries

  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • ½ tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • Granulated sugar, to taste 

  • 8 bone-in pork rib chops, cut 1 to 1½ inches thick

  • Flaky sea salt, to taste


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add shallot and chopped thyme; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine, and bring to a simmer over medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost completely reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in blueberries, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until blueberries burst and sauce thickens slightly, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Add sugar to taste, 1/4 teaspoon at a time. (The amount of sugar will depend on the sweetness of the berries.) Let sauce cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Season with kosher salt to taste.

  2. While sauce cools, preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Rub pork chops all over with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, and season with remaining 1 tablespoon kosher salt and remaining 1/2 tablespoon black pepper. Grill pork chops, flipping once halfway through cook time, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 130°F to 135°F, about 10 minutes per side. Remove from grill; cover with aluminum foil, and let rest 10 minutes.

  3. Arrange pork on a serving platter, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve with blueberry sauce.

Make Ahead

Blueberry sauce may be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Suggested pairing

Richly fruity Napa Valley Zinfandel: Brown Estate

Related Articles