Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Brine your Pork Chops.......DELICIOUS

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.



Katie C. said...

Really? I think pork chops are one of favorites. I'm going to try your brine next week. Cook's Illustrated has a great braising recipe with similar ingrediants: apple cider, maple syrup, apple butter, about fall off the bone good! What did you serve yours with? It looks like sweet potato? What else? I was thinking some sort of sauted cabbage? Hmmmmm...

Natalia B said...

I'm so glad you posted this recipe today Stacey. I'm stuck at home in this ice/snow-mageddon which has afflicted New Jersey and happen to have all of the ingredients on hand. Plus, it saves me having to use the outside Weber (my original plan for making the pork chops tonight).
These look delicious - can't wait to try them making the brine as I write this!

Stacey Snacks said...

The side dish is butternut squash mashed w caramelized onions. Delish!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Thanks for that. I love pork chops and have attempted to brine, but I never got the salt balance right, so they were always too salty. Not only have you provided a recipe, but also a salt ratio (I attempted to brine chops without either of these things).

Anonymous said...

One for you, two for the big boy? I haven't commented here lately, Ms. Snacks, 'cause I've started following you on Instagram, and keeping up there makes the blog seem like yesterday's news. #socialmediaproblems. Loving living in your apron pocket - that salad with roasted potato lunch looks FAB!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

This sounds like a terrifically flavored brine recipe. I can't wait to try this with chops - and maybe a pork roast too.

Vida said...

Made these tonight for dinner. I only brined the pork chops for 6 hours and they came out GREAT! Moist and delicious! Thank you for posting. They were a big hit.

Bites from life with the barking lot said...

I have a whole piggy in the freezer from the local fair....the chops were really dry so i can't wait to try these. i think pork was different years ago before we were all into the lean era. I remember my grandmothers pork chops and they were moist and flavorful. Thanks! They look delish.