Grilled Pork Chops with a Blackberry-Wine Barbecue Sauce

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With summer berries at their peak and the weather perfect for grilling, I wanted to share a unique and delicious recipe that uses both. (Wonder Twins Power activate! In the shape of-- Berries! In the form of Grilling Weather! Can you tell what I watched on Saturday mornings as a kid?!) Initially one might think this would be an odd combination, but berries, barbecue sauce, and pork really compliment one another. The chops are first rubbed with a good Dijon mustard and spice mixture that adds great flavor to a rather blank canvas cut of meat. The sauce is made by simmering together fresh blackberries, a little red wine, and some barbecue sauce. The end result is a sweet and savory combo with a tangy and smoky finish from the sauce.  

We enjoyed these a few Sundays ago, but they are simple enough to be made on a weeknight. In fact, the chops can be prepared with the mustard and spice rub up to a day in advance. The barbecue sauce can be made the day before as well. The only work left to do the next day is grilling the chops and warming the sauce.  

The original recipe strained the berries from the sauce, but I like to keep the plump jewels in for taste and texture.  I also like to use my own tomato-based barbecue sauce, but any quality bottled brand will do.  Garnished with a few fresh sage leaves from the garden, this is a delightfully seasonal dish.  

Grilled Pork Chops with Blackberry and Wine Barbecue Sauce
4-6 servings

For the Pork
4 (16-ounce each) porterhouse pork chops
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika

For the Sauce
3 cups fresh blackberries
1/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir wine
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 cup hickory smoke barbecue sauce or your favorite barbecue sauce
2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

In a small bowl, combine the sugars, garlic powder, sage, salt and paprika.  Rub the mustard (about 1 tablespoon per chop) on both sides of the pork chops and then sprinkle on the spice mixture, coating evenly on both sides.  Cover and refrigerate for at least four and up to 24 hours.

In a medium saucepan, combine the berries, wine, and brown sugar.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.  Add the barbecue sauce and vinegar; cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened-- about 20-30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it has melted and combined with the sauce.

Remove the chops from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.  (This allows the meat to come to room temperature, which ensures even cooking).  Prepare a charcoal grill with hot and warm/cool sides.  Oil the grill rack and place the chops on the grill with the lid open.  Sear the chops on the first side for 3 minutes.  Flip the chops over to a hot, but clean part of the grill and sear the second side for another 3 minutes.  Move the chops to the cooler part of the grill with the tenderloin part of the chop near the hot coals.  Close the lid and cook until a meat thermometer inserted through the side of the chop without touching the bone reaches 145ยบ F, about 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops.  Remove from the grill, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving or slicing.  Serve with the barbecue sauce.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Cattlemensbbqsauce.com


  1. beautiful shot! These look delish!

  2. I think I may give this recipe a try. The sauce looks irresistible :)

  3. Carolyn-
    Thank you!

    I do hope you give this recipe a try. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. What a perfect summer dinner! I look forward to trying this soon. It looks, and sounds, delicious!

  5. Do you think it would work with raspberries? My garden is currently exploding with them.

  6. Knitalot3-
    I have yet to try the raspberry version, but the original recipe uses either. An idea-- I might have to give it a go and use raspberry vinegar in lieu of the rice wine vinegar and serve it over grilled chicken?!

  7. @knitalot3
    i used rasberries and Saskatoon berries! it turned out great

  8. knitalot- Thank you for letting me know how it turned out. I have heard and read about Saskatoon berries, but haven't had the pleasure of trying them.

  9. I would note that any red wine (or most, at least) will do the trick for the sauce. Cab and Pinot share so comparatively little in terms of flavor characteristics that their mention here seems fairly arbitrary. As long as you're using a dry red wine (i.e. no Lambrusco, no dessert wine, no super-cheap boxed wine), anything goes: tempranillo, syrah, merlot, zin, grenache, sangiovese, whatever.

  10. Jesse-
    I appreciate your input on the usage of various red wines with this recipe. The Cabernet and Pinot mention was not arbitrary because I was following the original recipe and I have used both with equally good results. But as you stated, any good dry red wine will do. Best!

  11. I'm definitely trying your recipe! Yum!


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