Unlock a new Cook's Country recipe each month — exclusively at nakedwines.com

Unlock a new Cook's Country recipe each month — exclusively at nakedwines.com

Great meals and great wines have something in common — they’re made with love, and meant to be shared.

Nakedwines.com and Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen have partnered to bring you the best recipes from 11 Cook's Country seasons. Now you can get special access to viewers' all-time favorite meals, like Stuffed Mushrooms with Bacon and Blue Cheese, Texas Thick-Cut Pork Chops and classics like Spice-Crusted Steak — each paired with an exclusive independent wine for that perfect finishing touch.

Photo credit: Kevin White

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What we're eating (and drinking) this month:

Texas Thick-Cut Smoked Pork Chops

Pair these rich and smoky pork chops with Jonathan's famous Bordeaux

To achieve perfectly smoked chops, we bought the thickest ones we could find. For authentic Texas Hill Country flavor, we used mesquite chips, and tossed on chops brined in a solution of salt, sugar, and water. A slathering of tart and bright homemade barbecue sauce kept us licking our fingers.

Famous Bordeaux might not be the first wine you think of when you’re craving down-home Texas-inspired pork chops, but these global opposites definitely attract. The earthy and savory flavors in this French red offer just the right balance to a smoky country dish.

Air date: May 2019

Photo Credit: Joe Keller

Texas Thick-Cut Smoked Pork Chops

Serves 8 to 10

Pair these rich and smoky pork chops with Jonathan's famous Bordeaux

From our partners at:

Why this recipe works:

To achieve perfectly smoked chops, we bought the thickest ones we could find to ensure that they wouldn’t overcook during the 45 to 50 minutes they’d be the grill. For authentic Texas Hill Country flavor, we used mesquite chips. To add flavor as well as retain moisture, we brined the chops in a solution of salt, sugar, and water. We finished the chops by brushing them with a pungent and bright homemade barbecue sauce.

Ingredients:

PORK
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 (18- to 20-ounce) bone-in pork rib chops, 2 inches thick
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder/li>
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 cups mesquite wood chips
BARBECUE SAUCE
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1, 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Instructions:

Each chop can easily serve two people. Grate the onion for the sauce on the large holes of a box grater. Our preferred hot sauce is Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce. If you’d like to use wood chunks instead of wood chips when using a charcoal grill, substitute two medium chunks, soaked in water for 1 hour, for the wood chip packet.

  1. FOR THE PORK: Dissolve 6 tablespoons salt and sugar in 1½ quarts cold water in large ­container. Submerge chops in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Combine onion powder, granulated garlic, 1½ tablespoons salt, and 2 tablespoons pepper in bowl; set aside.
  2. FOR THE BARBECUE SAUCE: Cook bacon in medium saucepan over medium heat until fat begins to render and bacon begins to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add onion and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in broth, ketchup, hot sauce, liquid smoke, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bacon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.
  4. Just before grilling, soak wood chips in water for 15 minutes, then drain. Using large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap soaked chips in 8 by 4½-inch foil packet. (Make sure chips do not poke holes in sides or bottom of packet.) Cut 2 evenly spaced 2-inch slits in top of packet. Remove chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Season chops all over with reserved spice mixture.
    1. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (4½ quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Place wood chip packet on coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes.
    2. FOR A GAS GRILL: Remove cooking grate and place wood chip packet directly on primary burner. Set grate in place, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on medium-high and turn off other burner(s). (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature around 325 degrees.)
  5. Clean and oil cooking grate. Arrange chops on cooler side of grill with bone ends toward fire. Cook, covered (positioning lid vent over chops if using charcoal), until chops register 140 degrees, 45 to 50 ­minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
  6. Transfer chops to platter, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Brush chops generously with warm sauce and serve, passing remaining sauce separately.
    • Intense, luxurious and complex blend from the most exclusive Right Bank vineyards in Bordeaux – this is what billionaires would drink (if they could get it). 
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