Smokey Apple Glazed Pork Chops with Bacon Pesto

This pork chop recipe came about from a grilling contest a few years ago.  It is super easy to make and full of flavor.

The chops are rubbed with a seasoning blend that contains ancho chili powder and smoked paprika.  Once the chops have grilled on each side for a few minutes to set the spices, they are then brushed with apple jelly while they finish cooking.  Apples and pork pair together so well and the apple jelly is a quick way to add that apple flavor to the pork.

Once the bacon is cooked for the pesto, it is a quick whiz in the food processor to chop and combine all the ingredients.  If you have leftover bacon from breakfast or even some of that ready cooked bacon you could use that and save a step, getting this delicious chop on the dinner table even faster!

Smokey Apple Glazed Pork Chops with Bacon Pesto

Smokey Apple Glazed Pork Chops with Bacon Pesto

6 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup fresh basil
2 tablespoons walnuts
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 thick cut bone-in pork chops
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup apple jelly
For garnish: Finely grated parmesan cheese, additional crumbled bacon and fresh basil leaves

Heat a gas grill to medium heat.

Place the bacon into a heat-safe skillet and place onto grill (or if the grill has a side burner, place skillet onto side burner over medium heat) and cook bacon until crispy, approximately 3 – 4 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, place the basil, walnuts, anchovy paste, garlic, parmesan cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Process until finely ground. Add in 1/2 of the bacon and olive oil, process until finely ground. Add in remaining 1/2 of bacon and pulse, leaving larger pieces of bacon in the pesto; set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, paprika and nutmeg. Season the pork chops with salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, then sprinkle with the seasoning mixture, patting it onto the chops.

Place pork chops onto the grill and grill each side 1 – 2 minutes to set spice. Using a brush, begin to glaze the pork chops with the apple jelly, coating each side at least two times, flipping the chops in between each glaze, and cook until chops are cooked through. Glaze the top side of the chop right before removing from grill to serving plate.

To serve, place chop onto serving plate, top with a spoonful of the bacon pesto, garnish with parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon and basil leaves.

Serves 2

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