Friday, August 5, 2011

Grilled Maple Brined Pork Chop

These pork chops are WONDERFUL.  The brine did a beautiful job of tenderizing the pork and adding an amazing flavour.  I think this recipe will be a staple for my pork chops.  It was good (even without the chutney) - flavorful and succulent, something I never attained when grilling pork chops.  I left out the juniper berries (can substitute 1 tbsp gin but I didn't have that either), and cloves but it still came out incredibly delicious.  I also substituted ginger powder Also I did not have fresh ginger and fresh thyme so I used dried ones.

A few notes:
  1. Buy fresh thick pork chops bone-in from the butcher if you can and make sure the chops are not already brined.  Make sure no salt solution was injected, some stores do this to make them moist.
  2. Use kosher salt, NOT table salt.  Table salt is much more saltier than table salt.
  3. Thick chops, NOT thin or it will be too salty.
  4. Brine no longer than 12 hours, otherwise it will be hammy.  Brine for at least 4 hours.
  5. For the summer use the grill but it works on the oven too.  First brown the meat in an iron skillet 2-3 minutes on each side then put in a 350 degrees oven for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Don't skip brushing the chops with oil before grilling. It gives good caramelization.
  7. The brining solution can also be used for turkey, pork bellies, chicken and pork tenderloin.  Feel free to experiment.
  8. Use a thermometer so you don't have to guess doneness.  Stick a meat thermometer, once it heats 145 it's done.  It may be a little rosy when you cut into them but will quickly turn pale. 
  9. You can brine more chops at a time.  You can keep excess brined chops a few days in the bridge for later cooking. 

Thank you Bon Appetit.

(serves 2-3)
1/2 cup KOSHER salt
1/4 + 1/8 cup sugar
1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoons juniper berries (or 1 tablespoon gin)
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves (optional)
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger powder)
4 cups water

2-3 bone-in center-cut loin pork chops, 1 1/2 inches THICK (make sure it has no salt solution injected)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil for grilling
Roasted Pear Chutney (optional)

1. Mix all of the brine ingredients together in a nonreactive pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir the brine to ensure that the salt, sugar, and maple syrup have dissolved. Let the brine cool, then put it in a large nonreactive container and immerse the pork chops. Cover and refrigerate for no more than 12 hours.

2. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry (without rinsing).

3. Heat grill to high.

4. Season the chops with pepper (not salt — remember, the brining solution is salty) and brush with the oil. Sear the chops directly over the hottest part of the open grill for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Then lower the heat to medium, cover the grill, and cook to the desired doneness (about 10 minutes on each side). Use an instant-read digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chops. A reading of 145° to 150°F will give you a pink, moist chop, 160°F is well-done. Serve immediately, accompanied by the chutney, if using.

Accompany meal with Orzo- Artichoke Salad

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...