Blue Llama’s Pork Chops Recipe

Step up your dinner routine and recreate the pork chops from Blue Llama Jazz Club in Ann Arbor.
Photo by Kailey Howell

Blue Llama Jazz Club offers “New Orleans vibes” in downtown Ann Arbor with a creative menu filled with seafood, soul food and other delicious eats, along with live Jazz performances. Find out how to make their pork chops, here.


  • 6 12-ounce bone-in pork chops
  • Citrus brine (recipe follows)
  • Ancho chili marinade (recipe follows)
  • Chimichurri sauce base (recipe follows)
  • Charred pineapple chimichurri (recipe follows)

Citrus brine

  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 4 ounces salt
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 ounces cider vinegar
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 6 sprigs of oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 ounce black pepper

Note: 1 ounce is equal to approximately w2 tablespoons


  1. In a large container, combine sugar, salt, water, and vinegar, and whisk until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Cut the lime, lemon, and orange in half and add them to the container with the water mixture. Add the oregano, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and black pepper. Place the pork chops in the brine and marinate overnight.

Ancho chili marinade

  • 1 pound dry ancho chilies
  • 1 ounce rosemary
  • 1 ounce thyme
  • 4 ounces diced garlic
  • 2 ounces honey
  • 2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 ounce diced roasted tomatoes
  1. Rehydrate the ancho chilies by placing them in a bowl of hot water (enough to cover) for 20 minutes. Once done, remove all seeds from the peppers — if you don’t remove the seeds, the sauce will be bitter. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix at high speed. If you would prefer a smoother consistency, add a little bit of water while blending.
  2. Remove the pork chops from the brine and smother them in marinade. Let them marinate in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
  3. After 2 to 3 hours in the marinade, your pork chops are ready to cook. Bring your grill’s temp to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook pork chops for 9 minutes on each side or until the inner temp of the pork chop hits 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This will give you a very juicy pork chop. Once done, let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

Chimichurri sauce base

  • 1/2 ounce chili flakes
  • 4 ounces cider vinegar
  • 7 bay leaves
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Charred pineapple chimichurri

  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 3 ounces extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to brush on the pineapple before grilling
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  1. Cut off the pineapple skin and cut the fruit into large segments. Brush them each with oil and season them with salt. Place on a grill and cook until they have a nice char. Set them aside to cool. Once cool, cut the pineapple into medium-size (1/2”) cubes. Add the shallots. Place everything in a mixing bowl and add the 3 ounces of olive oil.
  2. Rinse the cilantro and parsley bunches with cold water and pat dry. Pick the leaves from their stems and chop finely. Place the chopped herbs on a sheet tray lined with a paper towel to dry.
  3. To finalize the chimichurri, mix together 2 ounces of the chimichurri sauce base with 4 ounces of the pineapple mixture. Add the chopped herbs. From here, it is up to you whether to add more chimichurri sauce base to the mixture. Doing so will bring a more acidic flavor to the dish.


Use a knife to cut the bone from the pork chop, and then slice the meat length wise. Place on a plate. Drizzle chimichurri over the meat and place the bone atop the pork chop slices for presentation.

This story is from the September 2022 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition.