BBQ Pork Chops with Cucumber, Apple and Fennel Salsa

Photographer: Adam

There has been the odd day of late when the sun has smiled down on us, encouraging the transition from the couch to deck chair; from the kitchen to the BBQ.  We want to live outside, at least whenever nature will allow it!

This recipe was a team effort from Kate and me.  Caramelised on the outside, spicy, juicy and smoky from the grill, these pork chops are the perfect prelude to what I hope will be a summer of sand between my toes, lazy afternoons and long evenings lubricated with cocktails and deep conversation.  The refreshing and zingy salsa is the perfect accompaniment, it provides a satisfying crunch.


Pork chops
8 pork chops
4 tsp fennel seeds
4 whole small red dried chilies
2 tsp whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Zest and juice of 1 orange
¼ cup olive oil

1 long cucumber
2 apples, something sweet and crisp, we used ‘Rose’
1 large or 2 small fennel bulb
1 red onion
1 long green chili
A generous handful fresh coriander
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper


Pork chops
1. Place all dry ingredients into a mortar and pestle and grind to a fine paste. Add olive oil, orange juice and zest, and mix.
2. Rub onto pork chops, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
3. Heat grill plate to medium heat, cook pork chops for approx 10 minutes each side, until well seared but tender. Serve with salsa.

Peel and deseed cucumber and dice 1cm. Peel, core and dice apples 1cm. Finely chop fennel and red onion. Finely dice chili, roughly chop coriander. Combine all ingredients with lime zest and juice. Season to taste.