Mess Hall’s Hog Chop with Cheddar Grits and Tabasco Butter

Mess Hall in Los Angeles offers regional American comfort food by executive chef Keith Silverton. This is my version of their pork chop known as a hog chop. It’s served with cheesy grits and Tabasco butter. Hog Chop with Cheddar Grits and Tabasco Butter.

Mess Hall’s Hog Chop with Cheddar Grits and Tabasco Butter 

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  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup pink salt, or substitute kosher salt
  • ¼ cup juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon all spice
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
  • 2 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 extra thick, center cut pork chops, 10 to 12 oz each
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more for grill
  • 2 shallots, peeled & minced
  • 12 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened & divided
  • 1½ teaspoon red tabasco sauce
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ¼‑inch dice
  • 2 pound pounds mustard greens, washed and cut into 3‑inch pieces
  • 1 pinch each salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 cup chicken stock, divided
  • 8 ounce white cheddar, grated
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cup stone ground white grits
  • ½ cup half and half


Brine the chops: Place brown sugar, pink salt, juniper berries, paprika, all spice, ¼ teaspoon cayenne, cinnamon stick pieces and bay leaves into a large bowl. Add 2 cups hot water; stirring the mixture until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Add 6 cups of cool water, stir to combine. Lay the chops in the liquid, it should cover them completely. Cover and refrigerate about 24 hours.

Make the Tabasco butter: Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small saute pan. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often until softened, about 5 minutes. Scrape them into a small bowl to cool completely. Stir in 8 tablespoons softened butter and Tabasco; mix thoroughly. Shape the butter into a log on a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap it tightly and freeze. Use within 2 weeks.

Sous vide: Fill a Sous Vide machine with warm water. Set it to 138 degrees F. for medium-rare pork. Remove the chops from the brine, rinse them in cool water and dry thoroughly. Place each into a vacuum pouch, following manufacturers directions. Submerge the pouches in the water and cook for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

Once they’ve reached the proper temperature remove from water. You may now plunge them in water to cool then store in the refrigerator until ready to grill or you may remove them from the pouches, saving any accumulated juices, and grill them immediately.

Make the greens: In a large high-sided skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, and saute until translucent and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the prepared mustard greens, and sprinkle with a pinch each salt and pepper. Once they begin to wilt add 1 cup chicken stock. Toss until greens are completely wilted. Add the vinegar, cover and set aside in a warm place.

Make the grits: Bring remaining 5 cups chicken stock to a boil in a 4‑qt. saucepan over high heat. Gradually whisk in grits; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking constantly for about 5 minutes. Continue to cook until tender whisking occasionally, about 15 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar, half-and-half, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, remaining cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside in a warm place.

Grill the chops: Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Season grill with towel dipped in vegetable oil (use tongs for safety). Place the chops on the grill until lightly charred on the outside, about 2 minutes. Turn the chops and repeat. Your goal is charred on the outside but just warmed through on the inside because they are already cooked on the interior to the perfect doneness.

To serve: Gently rewarm and loosen the grits with a bit of water if necessary. Spoon some onto 6 serving plates and top each with achop. Top each chop with a slice of Tabasco butter and drizzle some of the set aside meat juices. Serve the warm greens on the side and serve.