11 hours ago
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
I'm not a huge pork chop fan, I didn't eat them growing up, and when I did try them, they were always dry.
I received some nice pork from a local butcher and decided to try the famous brine recipe on Leite's Culinaria.
The reviews were more than stellar, and I had everything in the house to make this solution in 5 minutes.
The recipe wants you to brine the pork for 24 hours, so start the night before if you can (I brined for 8 hours, and they were still delicious).
Cast iron skillet is a must here for a nice caramelization and crust.
The husband said these were the best pork chops he has ever had.
That's a rave review.
Pan Roasted Pork Chops: (adapted from Leite's Culinaria)
2 cups apple juice
3 cups cold water
1/4 cup kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup maple syrup or sorghum syrup
3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cinnamon stick
Six 1 1/2-inch-thick center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed of excess fat with bone
1 tablespoon olive oil
Combine the apple juice, water, salt, maple syrup, pepper, and cinnamon in a pot and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. As soon as the salt has completely dissolved, turn off the heat and let the brine cool to room temperature. Be patient, you want the brine to be totally cooled, or it will cook the chops.
Place the pork chops in a baking dish or some other container that allows them to fit snuggly in a single layer. Add the brine, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry. Discard the brine.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
Place a large cast-iron skillet on a burner over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat it until warm but not smoking.
Season the pork chops with kosher salt and pepper and carefully place them in the pan. If you can’t fit all the pork chops in the pan without crowding them, then do 2 or 3 at a time. Sear for 3 minutes per side. The chops should have some nice caramelization going on and your house should smell amazing. Your smoke detector might go off, too.
After you’ve seared the chops, transfer the skillet to the oven for 8 minutes or, if you seared the chops in batches, transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven until perfectly cooked through.
A perfectly cooked pork chop, moist and delicious. Sweet & salty, but not too much.