My wife and I really enjoy a thick, moist pork chop, served with fresh vegetables. A tasty, cost-effective meal. I recently acquired some rubs and marinades produced by Nando’s, so decided to give them a try. Yeah, with pork … why not?
Smoked Peri-Peri Pork Chops
If you haven’t heard of it, Nando’s is an international casual dining restaurant chain originating in South Africa. It’s most famous for Portuguese style chicken dishes with various marinades. These marinades (and rubs) are marketed separately, so I thought I’d given them a try … with pork. In the spirit of cooking something less ordinary.
The marinades and rubs are available from some supermarkets in the UK, e.g. Tesco.
I cooked these in our Big Green Egg, smoking over apple wood. An oven can also be used, just without the smoking element. In addition, you’ll need:
- Two small mixing bowls
- Kitchen foil
- Measuring spoons
- Cast iron skillet
I cook this with double cut pork chops. These are two joined pork chop ribs, normally on the bone. Our butcher cuts these for me. If these aren’t available, this recipe works with single pork chops, simply reduce the cooking time.
- 2 double-cut pork chops, skin and most top fat removed
- 2 tbsp Nando’s medium Peri-Peri rub
- 2 tbsp Nando’s smokey BBQ rub
- Apple smoking chunk (optional, if using a Big Green Egg)
The medium Peri-Peri rub has some heat to it, coming from the cayenne pepper, cumin and paprika. I found it balanced well with the smokey BBQ rub to give a tasty, distinctive taste to the finished dish. Most importantly, the rub didn’t overwhelm the meat, it was adding some background flavours, allowing the quality of the meat to shine through.
I cooked this in our Big Green Egg, it can also be cooked in a conventional oven.
- Pre-heat the oven or Big Green Egg (indirect setup) to 135°C/275°F. If smoking in an Egg, wait for the coals to be lightly glowing then toss on an apple smoking chunk and wait for the thin blue line of smoke.
- Meanwhile, combine the two rubs together in a small mixing bowl. Lightly coat the outside of the pork chops with the rub, ensuring an even coverage all over including the top.
- Place the rubbed pork chops in the oven/Egg. Cook for 60-70 mins, or until the internal temperature of the chops is 63°C/145°F. Check that the juices are running clear when poked with a skewer.
- Remove the pork chops and wrap tightly in two layers of kitchen foil.
- To sear the pork chops:
- For cooking in an Egg, remove the platesetter and get the Egg to 287°C/550°F. Unwrap the pork chops and sear for 10-20 secs each side.
- For cooking in an oven, heat a cast iron skillet to high temperature over a stove. Put a little oil in, unwrap the pork chops and sear for 10-20 secs each side.
- Serve with sweetcorn and broccoli.
Hints and Tips
- The sweetcorn can be cooked in the Egg wrapped in silver foil with a very small amount of Peri-Peri marinade and some butter.
- I did try a glaze of Peri-Peri marinade during the searing stage, this didn’t work so well, it overpowered the taste of the rub. It did however make a decent dipping sauce for the pork.
- It’s important to sear for 10-20 secs only per side, any more than this can burn off the rub. This happened the first time I tried the recipe out.