A perfect late summer meal… Citrus-Marinated Hatch Green Chile Pork Chops is bursting with south-of-the-border flavor, and comes together mostly on the grill leaving your kitchen nice and cool! The pork chop marinade consists of a variety of citrus, chipotle, cumin, and achiote. Simple grilled veggies round out the meal. You’re going to love this Mexican pork chops recipe!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – About Citrus-Marinated Grilled Pork Chops
It’s still summer!!! McAllen has had a LONG string of 100°+ days, and while it’s a little hot to be outside tending the grill, it still beats heating up the kitchen.
With the exception of reducing the marinade to toss with the grilled veggies, this meal happens on the grill. You’ll love the vibrant Mexican flavors, and the healthy ingredients make it guilt-free!
Citrus and Yucatecan Cooking
When I think of citrus and Mexican cooking, I think of sour orange (also found in our beloved Peru). Even though I live on the border, I have never seen a sour orange in our markets.
The Yucatán peninsula is known for citrus infused dishes – cochinita pibil (pork cooked in achiote and sour orange), sopa de lima (lime soup), ceviche – and for the healthy eater, the region has so much to offer…
📋 Grilled Pork Chops with Hatch Chiles
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- pork – I love thick pork chops, and it is easier to avoid drying them out. Bone-in or boneless is up to you. This marinade is also great on chicken and shrimp!
- citrus – As I mention above, I have never seen Seville or the “ugly” oranges we enjoy in Peru in the US. Using a variety of citrus gets close. I don’t worry too much about precise quantities. I always use either lemon or lime with grapefruit and/or orange. See Know Your Citrus for more information.
- ground cumin
- ground achiote – Also known as annatto, this spice is ubiquitous in Yucatecan recipes. It is not spicy, but has a unique, earthy flavor.
- red chile powder – Choose ground ancho, guajillo, New Mexico red, or chipotle. Avoid generic “chili powder.” It is a spice blend that includes other ingredients.
- vegetables – As shown in the photos, I recommend fresh Hatch green chile. If you can’t get it, poblanos, and Anaheims make good substitutions. I round out the mixed grill with red or sweet onions and sweet bell peppers. Grilled corn and sweet potato wedges are a great addition!
🔪 How to Make Citrus-Marinated Hatch Green Chile Pork Chops
The Citrus Marinade
While I cannot get sour oranges, citrus is abundant in McAllen. On photo day, I chose ruby red grapefruit, orange, and lemon for the marinade, and served the plated dish with lime wedges. I aim for about 3/4 cup of juice, and I don’t worry too much about proportions. I don’t add sweetener to the marinade, so I don’t want it over-the-top sour! 😝
In addition to the fresh-squeezed citrus, I add minced garlic, ground achiote (a Yucatán pantry staple), cumin, and ancho or chipotle powder. The red chile powder does add heat, so adjust according to personal preference!
- Make the marinade – Whisk together the marinade ingredients, then add the pork chops. Prep the vegetables for the grill.
The Grilled Hatch Chiles, Sweet Bell Pepper, and Sweet Onion
Once upon a time, home cooks outside of southern New Mexico had to settle for frozen Hatch green chile. In recent years, however, the flavorful pods began making appearances in stores from coast to coast in the US. I am not aware that they are available outside the US.
If you can’t get Hatch chile, the Anaheim is a close – albeit milder – cousin (also developed at the New Mexico State University Chile Pepper Institute). If I need to substitute I usually go for poblano chiles. Look for firm, smooth, unblemished pods, and the flatter the surface, the easier they are to roast.
I round out the vegetable mix with a red, yellow, or orange sweet bell pepper, and a sweet onion (Vidalia, Walla Walla, etc.).
- Everything goes on the grill – Marinated pork chops, sweet corn, Hatch chile, sweet onion, sweet potato wedges, and sweet red pepper. I cook pork chops to an internal temperature of 150°, and let it rest covered with foil for a few minutes for medium.
- Optional – Add chicken broth to the reserved marinade, and reduce by half. Add honey (or other sweetener), season with salt and pepper, and toss with the peppers and onion. Delicioso!
Can I marinate the pork chops ahead of time?
💭 Top Tips
Reserve the marinade. Add it to a small saucepan, add 1/2 cup chicken broth, a teaspoon of honey, and reduce by half. Toss with the grilled peppers and onion.
See this video for help with the chiles.
Grilled Citrus-Marinated Pork Chops with Hatch Chile
- 2 Hatch green chiles - Anaheim or poblano
- 1 sweet bell pepper - red, orange, or yellow sweet bell pepper
- 1 large sweet or red onion - cut in thick slices
- Whisk marinade ingredients together and add to a quart zip bag along with pork chops. Marinate a minimum of 2 hours and up to several or overnight.
- Strain and reserve marinade from pork chops.
- Arrange pork chops and vegetables on a grill over medium-high heat. Char all sides of vegetables and grill pork chops on both sides to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
- If you have a helper, add the reserved marinade to a small saucepan along with 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1 teaspoon of honey. Reduce to half. Taste for seasoning.
- When the chops and vegetables come off the grill, tent the chops with foil to rest, and place the chiles and pepper in a pot with a lid (or a paper bag) to steam. (See notes).
- Remove the skins, stems, and seeds from the chiles and pepper, then slice into strips. Separate the onion into rings. Toss with the reduced marinade.
- To serve: Top the grilled pork chop with the vegetables and garnish with a lime wedge as desired.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.