Home Alone BBQ Pork Chop

This week the cavewoman is out of town for work so looks like I am cooking for one this week. Usually this means I tend to be less healthy since I am only cooking for myself but now that the holidays are over we are trying to cut back and drop some of winter weight. With the healthy frame of mind, for tonight at least, I thought about a quick and easy BBQ pork chop dish with a bitter green salad and asparagus. It turned out pretty well the sweetness from the pork balanced well with the bitter greens, and I was able to use pull double duty on the pork marinade as a salad dressing.  For other recipes like this visit www.cookingwithcaveman.com

What you will need: O

  • 2 Center Cut Pork Chops
  • 1 Cup Italian dressing (recipe below or use store bought)
  • 2 Cups BBQ sauce (recipe below or use store bought)
  • Salt and Pepper

Pork Marinade

  • 1 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Cup of olive oil
  • ½ tbls. garlic powder
  • ½ tbls. onion powder
  • ½ tbls. honey or white sugar
  • 1 tbls. dried oregano
  • ½ tbls. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoons salt

Quick BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchupBraungerPorkChops1[1]
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbls. Molasses
  • 1 tbls. Yellow mustard
  • 1 tbls. Chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbls. Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)



BBQ Sauce: Combine all the ingredients into a small sauce pan and heat on low for 5-10 minutes until the ingredients are well blended. Let it cool until you are ready to use.

Pork Marinade (Italian Dressing): Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Use half for the marinade and reserve the other half for the salad by covering well and storing in the fridge.

Caveman Tip*** `While you are prepping dinner and getting things ready or just puttering around the house doing chores just drop the pork in a zip lock back with the marinade and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to cook, I like to let it go 45 to 60 minutes

Preheat your grill: First make sure you clean the grates and then oil so that the chops will not stick. Turn your grill up to full temp, close the lid and let it get hot for about 10 minutes.O

While your grill is getting hot pull the pork out of the marinade and pat it dry. Now liberally coat it with the BBQ sauce and let it sit until your grill is ready.

When you grill is good and hot, the temp gage should read 700 degrees or better, place your pork on the grill directly over the heat source. Close the lid and let the pork site for 2 minutes and then turn them 90 degrees and close the lid again. This should leave those great grill marks you are looking for. After 2 more minutes flip the chops over close the lid and let them sit on the grill for 2 minutes. After the two minutes is up rotate them 90 degrees and close the lid. You will want them to sit another (you guessed it) 2 minutes.

At this point you will want to temp your chops depending on the thickness they may be done. You are looking for 145 degrees. If they are ready pull them and let them rest, if not put them on the top rack and turn your burners to low. You will continue to cook until you reach 145 degrees, it should not take long.

Let the chops rest for 5 minutes or so and serve them with your favorite sides. I just so happened to make a bitter salad and asparagus.


Bolognese Sauce


What you will need:


  • 16 large red tomatoes, stems removed (you can substitute with 4-8 cans stewed tomatoes but it just isn’t the same)
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • ½ cup bell peppers or 4 baby bell peppers, chopped (I will usually by a bag of the baby bell peppers, they typically last for a full week and I can us a couple at a time without cutting a half large pepper and wasting the rest, plus they are great to snack on)
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 9 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil (2 tbsp. dried can be substituted)
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano (2 tbsp. dried can be substituted)
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano for ground beef seasoning
  • 1 lb. ground hamburger meat (80/20)-if you want get creative ground lamb or veal gives a great flavor
  • 4 links hot Italian sausage (you can use mild or sweet if you prefer) – Remove sausage from the casing, and crumble
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 cup red wine (I typically keep a bottle of cheap red wine in the kitchen, works great as a base for a sauce with steak)
  • Salt and Pepper (I prefer kosher salt, the crystals are larger and helps to stop you from over salting food)


**Caveman Tip: I like to make this sauce on a Saturday or Sunday because it leaves me with great leftovers for a lunch and dinner during the week. Not only that but I am able to freeze some of the left over sauce for some quick and easy pasta meals the next week.


Prepare – grill style


Heat the grill to low heat.  We’re staying with propane on this one; it’s just quicker and less messy.  Remove stems from all 16 tomatoes and cut them in half.  Brush with EVOO, salt and pepper.  Once grill is warm, place the halved tomatoes cut side down on well-oiled grill for about 5 minutes or until soft. They should have some char marks but not burnt.   **Caveman Tip: Grilling the tomatoes not only makes them easier to peel for our sauce, but it also gives them that caveman zest!  Removing the skin from the tomatoes helps to reduce the bitter flavor.


 When tomatoes are warm, remove them from grill and let cool.   Once the tomatoes are cool, remove the skin.  


Prepare the base


In a large stock pan, coat with EVOO and begin to sauté the onions, bell peppers, carrot, garlic, and celery over medium heat.  Add 2 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of pepper.  Sauté until almost soft, then go ahead and add the baby bella mushrooms and fresh basil (or dried). Sauté until everything is soft and smelling good.  Remove entire mixture from pan (do not get rid the pan’s leftover goodness!) and put into a large bowl. 




 Using the same stock pan (with the leftover goodness) add a small amount of EVOO to coat the pan and on medium high heat, add the ground hamburger meat (or veal or lamb). Season the meat with salt, pepper, dried oregano and brown it.  Remove the meat from the pan and place in the same bowl as your sautéed base mixture.  There might be a little liquid in the pan just dump that but don’t scrape it you want all those bits and pieces to carry over to the next process


 Add another thin layer of EVOO to the bottom of the pan and add the crumbled hot Italian sausage, brown it over medium high heat.  You will begin to see goodness on the bottom of the pan…that’s all Bolognese goodness flavors for later!  Once it’s brown remove the sausage from the pan and add it to the bowl containing your other ingredients. 


 Still on medium heat, pour the red wine into the same pan.  Deglaze the pan.  (Use a metal spatula to scrape all the ‘sausage goodness’ off the bottom of the pan & into the liquid).  Continue to cook until the wine has reduced by half.   (This only takes a few minutes)


While your wine is reducing remove the core from your tomatoes.  (the core is the white tough membrane located in the middle of your tomatoes. I just pull it out with my hands) Then, chop your tomatoes.  **Caveman Tip: I like to use a food processor to chop my tomatoes on a pulse setting for a few seconds.  Though it’s one extra thing to clean, but it saves a big mess for cavewoman to clean up.


 Once the wine has reduced, add your chopped tomatoes to the large stock pan.  Combine your (base) vegetable mixture, hamburger, and sausage to the pan.  At this time, go ahead and add your oregano.  Bring mixture to a rolling boil (this is not a fierce boil, but more of a light boil).    Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer stirring occasionally.


Simmer, and let the flavors “marry”


 At this point, the goal is to let the liquid reduce.  This can take 1-2 hours.  I like to keep it over a medium to medium low heat stirring occasionally. You don’t want the solid ingredients to burn on the bottom of the pan; it will result in a bitter flavor to your sauce.   **Caveman Tip:  If you are familiar with my recipes or my style, you know what I’m going to say here…Frequently taste your liquid mixture and make sure you like the flavor.  Just remember this flavor will take a while to start developing


 It will take about an hour for the meat and vegetable flavors to ‘marry’ into the sauce and begin to sweeten it up.  After this point – you can add ingredients as needed for your liking (be aware of salt if eating this sauce with noodles or parmesan cheese!  There is plenty of salt in those 2 items) Pepper, dried oregano or basil depending on your preference. If you like a little sweeter sauce, add a tablespoon of brown sugar or honey but be careful not to add too much because as it cooks for the last hour the sausage, carrots and onions will continue to sweeten the sauce.


If you like more of a tomato flavor in your sauce (after you’ve simmered an hour), feel free to add a tablespoon of tomato paste.  I prefer that fresh flavor, so I steer away from this. Plus – most cavemen like meat – and we are looking for that wonderful essence in a Bolognese sauce.


 Continue to simmer mixture up to another hour, tasting occasionally.  If you feel the sauce is too thick, you can add a little vegetable stock to thin it out; but most likely it will need to reduce more.   


 Once your kitchen smells amazing and your sauce tastes marvelous, it’s ready to eat.  I like to pour over pasta, but you can get creative depending on what you’re making it for.  Always taste your sauce and make sure you like it before serving it to others!!


I like to take the leftovers and put them in individual containers and freeze them; this allows me to pull out a portion at a time when I want a quick meal.


 **Side Note: To make things a little interesting sometimes I like to add a cup of store bought salsa to the sauce it gives the dish a little southwest flare to mix things up.





Homemade Barbecue Sauce


What you will need:

  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. table salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup yellow ballpark style mustard
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup  lime juice
  • ¼ cup A1 steak sauce
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • ¼ cup Agave nectar or regular honey
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (or light if that’s all you have)
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp. Memphis Rub (from above)
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (can omit or try a hot sauce if you like)
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper chili flakes (can omit if you don’t like that much heat)


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Heat over medium heat prior to using for best flavor.

**Caveman Tip:  I prefer to prepare the BBQ sauce the night before you use it, as it allows all the flavors ample time to blend resulting in the ultimate savory BBQ sauce.