The changing of the seasons allow for a fresh approach to tired spice options. I’ve recently been enjoying many seasonal craft beers, several of which have been Pumpkin based ales. I decided to create a pork chop brine and seasoning combination which would both pair wonderfully with a Pumpkin beer and warm the soul on a chilly evening…

I used two 12oz. bottles of Kennebunk Pumpkin Ale from Trader Joe’s for this recipe. I then paired ingredients that complimented both pork and pumpkin flavors.

When you make up the brine, you might notice that there is an incredible amount of chile powder…it’s OK. This is just in the brine and not in the final BBQ rub. When you add the ingredients and a beer then bring to a simmer for 30-45 minutes, the brine blend should come out pretty red and somewhat soupy.  If your brine is too warm, after adding the second “cold” beer, place in a freezer for 15 minutes prior to putting pork chops in the brine.  Feel free to use this on any cut of pork as it is super flavorful…

Brine Seasonings:
24oz. Seasonal Pumpkin Beer
(use only 12oz for the reduction)
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp. Chile Powder
1 tsp. Cinnamon Powder
1 tsp. Ginger
1/2 Tbsp. Cloves
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
2 Tbsp. Black pepper
2 Tbsp. Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

4 thick cut 1″ Pork Chops

In a sauce pot, add the brine seasonings to 12oz of the beer and simmer on medium heat until it is reduced by 50%. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a large glass or stainless bowl, mix the other 12 oz. of pumpkin beer to the reduction. Place pork chops in the liquid, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours prior to cooking, turning regularly within the brine.

BBQ the chops at 400F until internal temperature reaches 150F. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the finishing spice.

Finishing spice:

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1/8 tsp. Chile Powder

1/4 tsp. Black pepper

1/8 tsp. Turbinado sugar

When the chops are done, remove from grill and immediately sprinkle on the finishing spice. Let the chops sit (or “rest”) for approx 10 min before serving.

Enjoy with your favorite pumpkin beer…Cheers!