It’s hard for me to resist the bags of ruby red cherries that abound this time of year. Even though they can be a pain to eat, I’m a sucker for the sweet-tart flavor. To amp up our standard grilled pork chops over the weekend, I put together this easy but complex cherry saison relish using items I had on hand, including a home brewed Belgian saison ale. Sweet, tart, savory and a touch spicy thanks to a sprinkle of chipotle, it has everything you could want in a summer sauce.
Pork Chops with Cherry Saison Relish
1/3 C chicken stock
1/3 C Belgian saison ale (or wheat beer)
2 Tbsp stone ground mustard
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp corn starch
small pinch chipotle powder (optional)
fresh cracked black pepper
Remove stems and pits from cherries. Roughly chop cherries and transfer to a saute pan. Begin to heat on medium heat. Add chicken stock and saison ale to cherries, whisking to combine. Whisk in corn starch, brown sugar and mustard so that there are no clumps and let simmer until mixture reduces and begins to thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add chipotle powder. Whisk well and let mixture continue to reduce and stay warm while your chops are being grilled.
Season chops on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill chops on raised rack of grill at 400 degrees for about 5-6 minutes per side based on thickness. Top chops with cherry sauce.