Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Juicy, Brined Pork Chops

These chops are so juicy, tender and flavorful, I"m going to brine mine every time from now on. It's February and too cold to barbeque outside, but come the Spring, these babies will be on the coals! Adapted from an Anne Burrell recipe. We had them with sage-roasted acorn squash.  Serves 3, double the recipe for 6.

3 thick bone-in, pasture raised pork chops
1.5 TB kosher salt
1 TB raw honey
1 TB fennel seeds
1 TB coriander seeds
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, smashed

Put the salt and honey in a glass bowl large enough to hold the chops. Add 1/2 c water hot enough to melt the honey and dissolve the sugar, and stir. Add another 3 cups or so of cold water (so that when you put the chops in, they don't start to cook) and the rest of the brine ingredients. Add the pork chops and more cold water if needed to ensure the chops are completely submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two days (mine were in for three days, didn't hurt them a bit, and probably helped.)

Heat a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Take out the chops and dry them off with paper towels, wiping off the seeds and veg. Cook the chops about 8 minutes per side for medium, then tent with aluminum foil and let rest 5-10 min.

Note: a lot of moisture will come out of the chops as they cook, so you want your pan hot enough to evaporate the water so the chops don't end up braising instead of grilling or frying. Click on the picture and you'll see just how juicy they are! Delish!

Update: We've barbequed since I wrote this post, and they are so tender and juicy hot from the grill! Also, they do Not dry out in the fridge and make wonderful leftovers. If there are any left. Here they are bbq'd with a side dish of  sauteed apples, onions, cognac and thyme:


  1. Great stuff here. The information and the detail were just perfect. I think that your perspective is deep, its just well thought out and really fantastic to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts down so well. Great job on this.

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  2. Thank you for your very kind comments! I really appreciate getting feedback on any of the recipes, and this one made me look at it again and find a tiny mistake which I'm correcting immediately. :-)