Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Grilling – Rosemary Lemon Pork Chops

I love this recipe I adapted from a Martha Stewart one I found in her magazine four or five years ago.  I've been making this meal every summer for years, and through the experience simplified the recipe a bit and perfected it with the help of a foil packet.

Imagine beautifully charred diamonds on both sides of your luscious pork chops, seasoned lightly with fresh rosemary and served with onions soaked in lemon and rosemary, two of my favorites.  It’s light-tasting, tangy, juicy, satisfying and delicious all at once.  Is your mouth watering yet?  If so, scroll down for photos and my shortened (read: easier, faster-to-make and better) version of the recipe.  Enjoy!

Rosemary Lemon Summer Porkchops

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Grilled Pork Chops and Onions

Four pork chops
Three large onions
One lemon, plus extra for garnish if you like it like that
6 small sprigs of rosemary
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil


For summer grilling, I try to bring everything I need outside with me on a tray so I don’t have to go back inside or make trips.  Inevitably I forget something and have to run back in (sometimes with Nathan in tow), but here’s what you’ll need to take with you in case you’re better at this than I am.

Preheat your grill to medium-high and gather:
  • onions, thickly sliced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemons, halved
  • olive oil
  • a brush for brushing olive oil on onions (or save time and brush them before you go out to the grill)
  • one large piece of aluminum foil to make a packet
  • rosemary sprigs (hopefully these are outside already, growing in your garden!)
  • two sets of tongs (one for meat, one for veg)
When you realize you’ve forgotten something and have to go back inside, grab a clean plate to put the cooked pork chops on.


  • Brush onions with olive oil and place on the grill long enough to make grill marks, about two minutes, then rotate a quarter-turn for those lovely diamond markings and the good flavor they bring. Flip, mark, quarter turn and allow to get marked again.  You may need to do these in batches if you don’t have enough grill space. Be careful not to let your onion slices fall through the grill surface—I always end up losing a few rings in the process.
  • Salt and pepper both sides of your pork chops and get them on the grill, rotating a quarter turn on each side to make grill marks.  Cook each chop with a sprig of rosemary on top of it (or underneath, but for just a few minutes—you don’t want the rosemary to burn).  Flip, mark, quarter turn and mark again.  Cooking time depends on the thickness of the chops.  They should be heated to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.  Throw away these rosemary sprigs when done.  They’ll be too charred to eat, but probably not cooked enough to kill the contamination from the pork juices.
  • While the pork chops are cooking, create a foil packet and place the onion slices (they’re not thoroughly cooked yet, just charred) inside the packet with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Tightly close the packet, put it on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes longer, rotating often.

    (I think it's unrealistic to grill onion slices on the grillins surface until they're fully cooked.  By then they're too charred, shiveled up and dried out and there's not much left—that is, if you haven't lost a majority of them through the grill surface. The packet helps them cook more evenly and stay flavorfully moist while drastically reducing dead loss.)
  • Put the remaining two rosemary sprigs on the grill for about 20 or 30 seconds, flipping once.
  • Remove the chops from the grill when done and cover with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes. While the pork is resting, pick the rosemary leaves from the two freshly grilled sprigs. Remove the onions from the grill; carefully open the packet and squeeze lemon juice over the onions and add the rosemary leaves and toss.
  • Plate your pork chops and top with the most flavorful onions you’ve ever tasted.

Forgive me (once again) for the obscene lack of food photos.  I had meant to plate up my chops and onions and take my plate back outside for a photo op.  But I was starving, and so were my husband and son, so there you have it.  You don’t need to see a photo to know these bad boys taste good!

I served this dish with grilled asparagus.  I put the asparagus on a foil-covered grilling tray and topped with a drizzle of olive oil, a squirt of lemon juice (bottled or fresh) and salt and pepper.  It’s easy and delicious!  And the best part, Nathan loves it. 


  1. Oh yum! I think I'd better go eat breakfast...
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, definitely something we would love!

    Blessings, Debbie

  2. Thanks again for linking and adding me to your love list on the left. See you at this weeks party!

  3. Thanks for sharing your recipe! You got me at Rosemary Lemon. Enjoy your weekend!



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