Chipotle Grill-Roasted Rack of Pork 8.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Real Entertaining Jun 17, 2009

Investing in three items will help make this dish easier to create: a set of half-moon-shaped charcoal baskets (to separate and contain the two sources of grill heat), a hinged grill grate (for replenishing charcoal and wood chips easily during grilling) and a remote thermometer (for monitoring the internal temperature of what's being grilled without having to open the lid).

You also will need: a 2 1/2-gallon resealable plastic food storage bag; a metal pan or medium bowl (a 13-by-9-inch disposable aluminum pan is fine); 2 cups of wood chips soaked for 1 hour in water, then drained; and a basting brush.

Make Ahead: The roast should be brined the night before cooking. The rub can be made 1 week in advance.

Servings: 8 - 10
  • For the brine and pork
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 chipotle peppers en adobo, such as La Costena brand (smoked jalapeno peppers in a tomato-based sauce)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 six-rib rack of pork (about 4 pounds, not frenched), tied between the ribs
  • For the rub
  • 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning, such as Goya brand
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • For the glaze and sauce
  • 12 ounces store-bought currant jelly
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 chipotle en adobo, chopped
  • 3 to 5 stems chives, snipped or chopped (1 tablespoon)


For the brine and pork: Combine the salt, sugar, garlic, chipotle peppers, bay leaf and water in a large bowl; stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Place the pork roast in a jumbo (2 1/2-gallon) resealable plastic food storage bag. Pour the brine in the bag and seal the bag, making sure to squeeze out as much air as possible. Place the bag in a shallow pan large enough to contain it, and refrigerate the roast for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.

Begin the cooking process 2 hours before you're ready to eat. Remove the roast from the brine and blot it dry on all sides with paper towels. Discard the brine and its bag.

For the rub: Combine the adobo seasoning, paprika, chipotle powder and ground cumin in a small bowl, then use it to coat the roast completely, including on both ends and the underside of the ribs. Cover the roast loosely.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling: If using charcoal, light the charcoal in a chimney starter and let the briquettes burn until flames subside and a light layer of ash covers the briquettes (about 20 to 25 minutes). Dump the lighted coals into 2 mounds (or, preferably, into 2 half-moon- shaped briquette baskets) on opposite sides of the grill. Place a drip pan between the piles of coals and fill it halfway with water. (If using gas, with a two-burner grill, set one burner to medium-low and leave the other unlit; with three or more burners, set the outside or front and rear burners to medium-low and leave the center burners unlit.)

Place the hinged grate on the grill; brush and oil it. Place the pork roast, rib side down, over the drip pan, parallel to and in between the coal baskets. Thread the remote thermometer probe through the top of the roast and into its center, making sure that the probe does not touch the bone. Set the thermometer to 135 degrees according to manufacturer's directions.

Toss half of the soaked, drained wood chips on each mound of coals (or use a smoker box for a gas grill.) Cover the grill (top vents closed) and cook the roast for about 70 minutes, until the thermometer indicates that 135 degrees has been reached. (The temperature inside the grill should remain between 300 and 350 degrees.)

While the roast is cooking, prepare the glaze and sauce: Combine the currant jelly, 1/4 cup of the brewed coffee and the chipotle en adobo in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, whisking until the jelly has liquefied. Let the mixture boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

When the roast reaches 135 degrees, remove the grill cover. Use half of the glaze to baste the roast generously. Reset the remote thermometer to--5 degrees (inserting the probe as before) and replace the grill lid. When the roast reaches--5 degrees (in 10 to 15 minutes), transfer it to a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes, covered loosely with aluminum foil.

To make the sauce, add 1/2 cup of coffee to the remaining glaze in the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and add the chives.

To serve the roast, use a carving knife to separate the eye of the loin from the ribs, setting it aside on the cutting board. Turn the rack of ribs over; cut in between each of the ribs and place them on a platter.

Slice the loin and place it on the platter. Pour collected juices over the meat and ribs. Serve with sauce on the side.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe in Adam Perry Lang's "Serious Barbecue" (Hyperion, 2009).

Tested by David Hagedorn.

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