It All Started with A Photograph – Brined Pork Chops!
Want to know how to make the brined pork chops? read on!
I was perusing a Bon Appetit magazine and saw a picture of a seared juicy pork chop and it looked so enticing that I knew I needed to make it. Upon review of the recipe it featured a whole head of garlic (!) as well as juniper berries, which are not in everyone’s pantry.
It was ripe for a FODMAP IT!™ makeover. Garlic-Infused Oil, made with olive oil, a bit of thyme and salt and pepper and this chop was as juicy and tasty as it looks. Serve with mashed potatoes and some sort of green.
Choosing the Juiciest Pork Chop
Pork chops are quick to cook but too often you end up with a dry result. This is usually due to overcooking but also many supermarket pork chops are just way too thin; they don’t give you a fighting chance at succulence.
Another reason for lackluster results is the type of pork. When you can, source your pork from a butcher who can cut your chops to the desired thickness and can speak to the type of meat. Supermarket pork is going to be very lean whereas many butchers will have pork from heritage breeds that are richer and will cook up juicy.
This recipe features one thick rib chop, which you will slice to serve, that is brined first so no matter what pork you start with you will end up with a succulent chop. Plan ahead as the chop is best brined all-day or overnight.
Pan-Roasted Brined Pork Chops
Make sure you give yourself time as the chops need to be brined ahead - but you can do this overnight, which makes it easy.
- 6 cups (1.4 L) water, divided
- 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 3 medium sprigs
- 1, 2-inch (5 cm) thick rib chop (it should have 2 rib bones and weigh about 1 ¼ pounds)
- 2 tablespoons Garlic-Infused Oil, made with olive oil or purchased equivalent
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Combine 2 cups (480 ml) of water, sugar, salt and thyme in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a non-reactive mixing bowl and add remaining 4 cups of cold water. Chill until cool. Submerge chop in brine mixture, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 450°F/230°C. Have a heatproof plate ready and set aside. Remove chops from brine, discard liquid and pat chop very dry on all sides.
Heat garlic oil in a heavy ovenproof pan, such as a cast iron, over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chop and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until well browned on the bottom. Flip chop over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Cook until a both sides are very well browned and caramelized; the pork will not be cooked through at this point.
Transfer pan to oven and roast for about 10 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 135°F/58°C. Drain any excess fat from pan, holding chop in place as you tip pan to remove grease. Place pan back on stovetop over medium heat and add butter. Cook until butter is foamy and move chop around so that the butter is underneath it as well as around it. Cook until butter browns, basting chop once or twice, about 2 minutes more of cooking.
Remove chop from pan and keep warm on reserved plate loosely covered with foil. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes for juices to distribute. Slice the meat off of the bone and serve with your choice of sides.
- One of the most important parts of this recipe is to buy the appropriate thickness of chops, so follow the recommendations for best results.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.