Mexican Chile Pork Chops

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min (includes brining time)
  • Active: 50 min


1/4 cup light agave

2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt 

1 tablespoon ground cumin 

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

4 cloves garlic, smashed 

4 sprigs fresh oregano 

3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, broken and some seeds removed

3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, broken and some seeds removed 

3 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed, broken and some seeds removed

3 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed, broken and some seeds removed 

3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, broken and some seeds removed 

3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, broken and some seeds removed

One 12-ounce bottle Mexican beer 

1 lime, quartered 

2 cups ice cubes 

4 double-cut, bone-in pork loin chops (each about 1 1/2-inches thick) 

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for greasing

1 tablespoon granulated garlic 

1 tablespoon light brown sugar 

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika 

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Grilled Green Chile Sauce, recipe follows

Pico de Gallo, recipe follows

Grilled Green Chile Sauce:

4 hatch chiles

2 Anaheim chiles

2 jalapenos 

2 poblano chiles

1 medium sweet onion, halved 

1/2 bunch scallions, trimmed 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1 teaspoon white vinegar 

1 clove garlic, minced 

Juice and zest of 1 lime 

Juice and zest of 1 lime

1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed 

Pico de Gallo:

2 cups diced Roma tomatoes

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

2 tablespoons seeded, stemmed and minced jalapenos

1 tablespoon fresh celery juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

1 tablespoon kosher salt 

1 teaspoon minced garlic 

1/2 sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice


  1. In a large saucepan set over high heat, add 1 cup water, the agave, 2 tablespoons salt, the cumin, cracked black pepper, garlic, oregano, 2 of the anchos, 1 of the chipotles, 2 of the guajillos, the beer and limes. Cook, stirring, until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat, add the ice, and stir until cool. Pour the brine into a large, resealable plastic bag and add the pork chops. Seal the bag and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the grill to high heat and wipe the grates down carefully with some oiled paper towels to clean and create a nonstick surface.
  3. In a dry skillet set over medium-high heat add the remaining 1 ancho, 2 chipotles and 1 guajillo chile. Cook the chiles until fragrant and lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Place the chiles in a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. In a small bowl, add the chile powder, cumin, granulated garlic, sugar, paprika, the remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt, the mustard and ground black pepper. Mix to combine, and set aside.
  4. Remove the pork chops from the brine, then pat dry and brush with the canola oil. Coat evenly all over with the spice rub. Grill the pork chops for 2 1/2 minutes. Rotate the chops 90 degrees and cook another 2 1/2 minutes to create crosshatch sear marks. Flip the chops over and repeat the same process on the second side. Move the chops to an area of the grill with medium heat and continue cooking until cooked through and an internal thermometer inserted in the chops reads 145 degrees F for medium doneness, 7 to 8 minutes. Rest the chops for 5 to 7 minutes for the juices to redistribute.
  5. Serve the pork chops with the Grilled Green Chile Sauce spooned over the top and garnish with Pico De Gallo.

Grilled Green Chile Sauce:

  1. In a large bowl, add the hatch chiles, Anaheim chiles, jalapenos, poblanos, onions and scallions. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the salt, and mix to coat. Grill the chiles, onions and scallions until charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the scallions and onions aside; place the chiles in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and steam for 6 to 8 minutes. Once the chiles cool, carefully scrape away and discard the charred skin, then remove the stems and seeds, and roughly chop. In the bowl of a food processor, add the chiles, onions, scallions, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the vinegar, garlic, lime juice, zest and cilantro. Process until smooth and bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pico de Gallo:

  1. In a small bowl add the tomatoes, lemon juice, jalapenos, celery juice, cilantro, oil, salt, garlic and onions. Mix to combine, then cover and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the excess liquid before serving.

Cook’s Note

To make fresh celery juice, process 1 stalk celery with 1 tablespoon water in a blender until smooth. Pour through a wire mesh strainer set over a bowl and press with a spatula to squeeze out any remaining juice. Discard the pulp and reserve the celery juice in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Let's Get Cooking!

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Theresa Tremblay

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