“Pork Chops and applesauce:” a classic combination and catchphrase—one that I heard a lot growing up due to the fact that I spent a huge portion of my life living with my grandparents.  I grew up on pork chops and applesauce and therefore it’s no wonder that when I’m looking to make some comfort food, especially in the fall and winter months, I lightly pan fry a delicious pork chop and pair it with some homemade applesauce.

This meal is delicious and comforting when it’s cold outside but a bit too heavy for the heat.  This is why I decided to give this classic dish a summer makeover. I used a BBQ rub, grilled the chop and instead of applesauce, I made a light, fresh apple slaw that compliments the spicy grilled chop beautifully.

Given that the slaw involves some preparation, I got some help from the store for the rub for the chops. I used a McCormick Grill Mates Seasoning packet as my rub, which was created for ribs but it works well on any cut of pork.

This meal is healthy, flavorful and a nice change from the standard barbecue fare.  Make sure you give it a try this Memorial Weekend!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 3 Large Granny Smith Apples (cored, skin on, julienned or cut into matchsticks)
  • 1 cup Shredded Carrots
  • ¼ Cup Candied Walnuts (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ Cup Dried Cranberries (roughly chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint (finely chopped)
  • 1 Lemon (Juice Divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Grated Ginger or ¾ teaspoon Dried Ginger
  • Generous Pinch of Salt
  • Generous Pinch of White Pepper
  • 4 Pork Chops (Bone In)
  • 1 McCormick Grill Mates Seasoning Pack (Memphis Pit BBQ Flavor)


For the Apple Slaw: First core and chop the apples into matchsticks.  I found that the best method is to use a mandolin to slice the apples into 1/8 inch thick slices, stack the slices on top of each other and then chop lengthwise into sticks.  After your apples are chopped, add them to a medium sized bowl and toss them with the juice of half of the lemon, just to keep the apples from browning.  Then add the shredded carrots, chopped walnuts, cranberries, and mint to the bowl.

To make the vinaigrette, squeeze the juice from the other half of the lemon into a small bowl.  Next, add the vinegar, honey, oil, ginger, salt, and white pepper and whisk vigorously.  Pour the vinaigrette over the apple mixture and give everything a light toss. Garnish with some torn mint leaves right on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Pork Chops: Rub the seasoning evenly over both sides of the pork chops, cover in with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.  When you are ready to grill, preheat your indoor or outdoor grill to medium high.  The last step is to grill your chops, however, grilling time varies depending on the thickness.

For thinner chops, simply grill on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on both sides.  For thicker chops, grill each side on high heat for 2-3 minutes to get the sear and grill marks, then you want to move them to indirect heat to cook all the way through.  On an outdoor grill, this means simply moving the chops to indirect heat, closing the lid, and allowing the chops to cook for another 5-7 minutes.  For an indoor grill, this means transferring the chops into a 350-degree oven for 5-7 minutes.

Regardless of your cut, be sure to allow some resting time of at least 5 minutes before serving.

April Wardlaw is a self-taught cook who caters and bakes part time.  You can find more of her recipes on her blog.