Here is a bit of an Italian take on the classic smoked pork chop.

Total Time: 45
Servings: 4


  • 2 Red Oak Grilling Planks
  • 1 cup Dry Polenta
  • 3 cups Water or Stock
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp.  grated Parmesan, divided
  • 4 bone-in Pork Chops, around 8-12 oz. each
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper
  • 2 cups Arugula
  • 1 small Garlic Clove
  • ⅓ cup Olive Oil
  • Squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers, halved and deseeded

Chef's Tip

Bone-in pork chops are a little more forgiving – they retain their juices better, and pack a lot more flavor.


  1. Bring the water (or stock) and half and half to a simmer.
  2. Add the polenta and stir regularly for 10 minutes over medium-low heat until thick. Stir in 2 Tablespoons of the cheese (saving the rest) and set aside to cool.
  3. When cool, set the polenta on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log. Twist the ends to form a tight shape and refrigerate. This can be done well in advance.
  4. Preheat a grill to 400°F and soak the planks in hot water for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Rub the chops with a little oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Set them on the planks and place on the grill, close the lid. Cook for 15 minutes or until you reach an internal temp of 150°F. Set them aside to rest and finish cooking. While the pork chop rests grill the pepper, polenta and make the pesto.
  7. Place the pepper on the grill and cook until the skin in black and blistered.
  8. Unwrap the polenta and cut into eight 1” thick slices. Rub with a little oil and grill for 2 minutes per side or until hot.
  9. Add the arugula to a food processor and with the machine running add the oil, lemon juice, the remaining cheese, and a pinch of salt. Puree until smooth.
  10. Serve the chops with plenty of pesto, polenta and garnish with charred peppers.

*Keep a spray bottle of water handy in case of flare-ups.

Used in this recipe:

Red Oak Grilling Planks