Have you ever made a bone-in pork chop, even when seasoned generously with kosher salt and pepper and cooked to the exact temperature, that is so tough and dried out it is such an incredible disappointment? Pork has a tendency to be dry and chewy… and, well, shamefully enough, this has happened one too many times in my kitchen. I love a bone-in pork chop, and would really like to turn to it once a week as a go-to dinner entree, however, I feel like every time I grill these guys, they always seem to disappoint.
yes, i have seasoned them quite heavily with kosher salt
… yes, i have even taken my fork to spear the pork to try to tenderize it
and yes, i have been digging to find the right recipe to satisfy my frustration
Well, I took the plunge the other evening and decided to test out a liquid brine. huh? a what? wouldn’t that water log the protein? These were all thoughts that ran through my mind, but I figured ‘what the heck. They aren’t too pricey, if I ruin it, I ruin it’.
GENIUS. PURE GENUIS.
This brine was my saving grace and answer to how going forward, make every. single. bone-in pork chop.
don’t worry… this brine is a synch and doesn’t add specific flavor where you feel you can only use this with certain recipes. it just genuinely tenderizes the pork and then when cooking, keeps it juicy.
I also tested out a new recipe with these pork chops – yes, you all know I LOVE fresh herbs. These chops were covered in fresh herbs and resting on a bed of fresh spinach and white cannellini beans, drizzled with a light lemon, olive oil drizzle… again. INSANE. CBH and I were practically silent during dinner as we savored each and every bite.
BRINED PAN ROASTED TUSCAN-STYLE GARLIC-HERB BONE-IN PORK CHOPS
a mouth full. but worth it…
Note: Don’t overcook your pork – this is a surefire way to dry it out. Pull out that trusty meat thermometer. Pork needs to be cooked until a thermometer reads 145*F, followed by a three-four minute rest time.
CBH cooked these guys perfectly.
look at those fresh herbs… yum.
a few of favorite gadgets and utensils for helping execute this dish flawlessly…
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise - only using 1/2 the head
- fresh thyme sprigs
- 5 cups ice
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil.
- Add kosher salt, sugar, peppercorns, half head of garlic and 2 fresh thyme sprigs.
- Stir until sugar and salt is dissolved.
- Transfer to medium glass bowl and add 5 cups ice.
- Stir until brine is room temperature/cooled.
- Add and submerge pork chops in liquid.
- Cover and chill for at least 8 hours - up to 12 hours
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tbl thinly sliced sage leaves
- 1 drizzle balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 2 bone-in brined pork chops, quickly rinsed and patted dry
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- cooking spray to grease the grill pan
- zest of one lemon
- juice from one big lemon
- 2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 12 green olives, pitted and finely chopped - optional
- Preheat grill pan over medium high heat and grease with cooking spray
- Combine 2 tsp olive oil, 2 Tbl parsley, sage, vinegar, rosemary and half of the garlic on a large platter. Set aside
- Sprinkle pork chops with pepper and kosher salt. (Be a little careful with the salt, since you had the brine on it the evening prior.) Cook pork chops on grill pan, grilling roughly 5 minutes a size, until cooked thru.
- Transfer cooked pork chops to herb filled platter, tossing on both sides and letting rest.
- In a small glass bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Meanwhile, heat beans over stove quickly.
- Plate spinach, top with warm beans, scallions (and optional green olives), and then herb topped pork chop
- Drizzle with lemon olive oil dressing.
- Serve and ENJOY!