Cooking for poor poets and others: Grilled Pork Chops with Maple-glazed Carrots, Goat Cheese and Pistachios


Slow Food Fast

Pork Chops With Maple-Glazed Carrots

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of Ox in Portland, Ore., pair juicy grilled pork chops with carrots in a buttery maple-syrup glaze, garnished with creamy goat cheese and toasted pistachios

Oct. 10, 2014 11:04 a.m. ET

SWEET MOVE | Maple syrup and butter cook down to create a thick, flavorful glaze for the heirloom-variety carrots coming into season now.  Stephen Kent Johnson for The Wall Street Journal, Food Styling by Heather Meldrom, Prop Styling by Sarah Smart

The Chefs: Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton Lyndon Hayes

Their Restaurant: Ox, in Portland, Ore.

What They Are Known For: A combination of Argentine-style grill mastery and classical French training.  Redefining the steakhouse with Latin American inspiration and the finest Pacific Northwest produce.

A SPECTACULAR wood-burning grill sits smack in the middle of the dining room at Ox, Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton and Greg Denton ’s celebrated, Argentine-inspired restaurant in Portland, Ore.  “Sunny days are limited here, and people are quick to get out and barbecue,” said Ms. Denton.  “We love giving them that all year long,” her husband added.

In the Dentons’ first Slow Food Fast contribution, a grilled bone-in pork chop comes with a side of maple-glazed carrots dotted with toasted pistachios and creamy goat cheese—a perfect way to transition from summer barbecue season into fall.

These two classically trained chefs are known for their way with meat.  “The little secret here is don’t forget the bone,” Mr. Denton said.  “On the grill, place it over the hot point.  In a pan, baste it.  Once you heat the bone, it radiates out and prevents other areas from drying out.”

What we think of as peak grilling season may be over in much of the country, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack in the coals.  In many ways, there’s no night better for standing by a smoking grill than a crisp fall one.  “Cooking over a live fire is our favorite way,” Ms. Denton said, “because of what it does for flavor.”

Pan-roasting the pork is always an option, too.  This well-constructed recipe guarantees juicy results either way.  “Thankfully,” Mr. Denton said, “the days of dried-out pork chops are behind us.”

—Kitty Greenwald

Pork Chops With Maple-Glazed Carrots

Total Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (10-ounce) pork chops
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 pound heirloom carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 10 tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

1. Set a grill to high heat and coat cleaned grates lightly with 1 tablespoon oil.  Alternatively, set a heavy pan over high heat and slick it with oil.  Rub chops with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Once grill or pan is hot, lay in pork chops so bones lie over hottest point.  Cook to medium-well, about 6 minutes per side.  Remove chops from heat and let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

3. Meanwhile, set a large, high-sided, lidded pan over medium-high heat.  Once warm, add butter, 2 tablespoons water and maple syrup.  When liquid in pan starts to boil, stir in carrots and season with salt and pepper.  Cover pan, decrease heat to medium and cook carrots until just shy of al dente, about 3 minutes.  Uncover pan, increase heat to medium-high and cook until carrots are al dente and glazed.

4. Remove carrots from pan, leaving excess liquid behind, and transfer them to a platter.  Garnish carrots with dollops of goat cheese, pistachios and tarragon, and season with salt.  To serve, divide pork chops and glazed carrots among four plates.

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