Spiro Spero Pork Chops

The State Motto in South Carolina is “Dum Spiro Spero.” In English, “While I breathe, I hope.” In this modern day of instant and easy communication, why the heck do we still use Latin phrases? Is it to fool folks into thinking we’re smart? That’s just dum, Spiro-Spero-Man!

So – while the grill was breathing out hickory smoke, I hoped supper was going to be tasty.

The Northwestern part of the Palmetto State tends to use a vinegar and ketchup style of sauce with their barbecue. As you travel south along the Georgia border you will find sweeter ketchup-based sauce. East of I-95 you tend to see mouth-puckering vinegar and pepper on pork. This recipe salutes the mid-state, Columbia-area style. Tangy, slightly sweet and mustard-based.

SCPorkChopSP’s Palmetto State Rub:
1 part Garlic Salt
1 part Onion Powder
1 part Black Pepper
2 parts Dry Mustard
2 parts Sweet Paprika
1 part Light Brown Sugar
¼ part Cayenne pepper

SP’s Columbia Sauce:
1 cup Yellow Mustard
¼ cup Cider Vinegar
1½ Tablespoons Ketchup
¼ teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
½ teaspoon Garlic Salt
½ teaspoon Celery Salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
¼ cup Sugar
½ chicken bouillon cube
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary
1 teaspoon Mustard Powder

These chops were one-inch thick bone-in Loin Chops, sort of the same cut as Porterhouse beef steaks. Sprinkled on the rub and let it rest 24 hours in the fridge. The sauce was mixed and rested overnight, too. Prepared the grill for indirect cooking with the Mezza Luna set on top of half the grate. This left room for direct cooking later.

Meanwhile a good coating of the sauce was applied to the chops – both sides. Low and slow at 250°F indirect for 20 minutes per side, then opened up the vents and had a quick turn over the direct heat to set the glaze, about 3 minutes per side. Internal temperature just over 145°F as directed by the USDA.

Served this with wild rice and sugar snap peas. As I live and breathe, I hope we can repeat this one.

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