MARIO'S VEAL CHOPS
With Lemon Oregano Jam

Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Serves 4
Advance Preparation: 30 minutes for marinating the chops

4 veal chops (each about 1 inch thick and 10 to 12 ounces)
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Lemon Oregano Jam (recipe follows)

You'll also need:
2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably oak), unsoaked

1. Lightly brush or rub the chops with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the chops in a nonreactive baking dish and squeeze the lemon juice over them. Sprinkle the oregano on both sides of the chops, turning them several times to coat them evenly. Let the chops marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to high then toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

3. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the marinated chops on the grate and grill until cooked to taste, 5 to 8 minutes per side for medium, rotating the chops a quarter turn after 3 minutes to create an attractive crosshatch of grill marks. To test for doneness, use the poke method; the meat should be firm and just gently yielding.

4. Transfer the grilled chops to a platter or plates and let rest for about 3 minutes, then serve with the Lemon Oregano Jam on the side.

Lemon Oregano Jam

Yield: Makes about 3/4 cup

2 large lemons (preferably with thin rinds)
1/4 cup sugar, or more to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

1. Scrub the lemons under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels. Cut each lemon into 8 pieces and remove and discard the seeds.

2. Place the lemon pieces and the sugar, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process to a coarse puree. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream; the mixture should emulsify, becoming honeylike in consistency. Add the oregano, pulsing to mix. The jam can be prepared up to this stage and kept, refrigerated, for several weeks. Transfer it to a clean glass jar, placing a piece of plastic wrap between the top of the jar and the lid to keep the lid from corroding. Bring to room temperature before serving, stir to recombine, and taste for seasoning, adding more sugar, salt, and/or pepper as necessary.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort