Grilled Harissa-Spiced Pork Chops

Grilled Harissa-Spiced Pork ChopsHarissa is a Tunisian-inspired spice rub that is perfect for bringing out the succulent flavour of seared Ontario pork. For an authentic North African meal, serve with a medley of roasted vegetables and fluffy herbed couscous.

Harissa:
1 tbsp (15 mL) caraway seeds
1 tbsp (15 mL) coriander seeds
1 tbsp (15 mL) cumin seeds
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried crushed red pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tbsp (50 mL) paprika
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt

Chops:
2 tbsp (25 mL) Harissa paste (see above)
1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh chopped coriander
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
4 bone-in Ontario pork chops (about 1-1/2 lbs/750 g total)

Make Harissa: In skillet over medium heat toast caraway, coriander and cumin seeds, stirring, for approximately 5 minutes. Cool completely. Grind cooled spices and dried crushed red pepper in mortar with pestle or spice grinder to fine powder. Add oil and garlic; combine to smooth paste. Stir in paprika and salt. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate).

Prepare marinade: Whisk together Harissa paste, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, coriander and sugar. In resealable bag, pour marinade over pork chops, turning to cover completely. Allow to marinate, refrigerated, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill to medium. Grill marinated pork on greased preheated grill until just a hint of pink remains, approximately 8 minutes per side. Discard any remaining marinade. Allow cooked chops to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Chef’s Tip: If using store-bought prepared Harissa paste, use only 1 tbsp (15 mL).