Thursday, February 5, 2009

I make the best pork chops in the world

Not to boast, but it's true. And I'm quite the critic when it comes to this cut of meat. Let's face it, most pork chops suck. Dry, tough, bad. Husband, on the other hand, loves a pork chop and considers it a go-to meat. I gave up calling him in the middle of the day to ask what he would like for dinner because he always answered "Well, how about pork chops?" But I finally gave in and set to mastering the chop.

In my mind, a pork chop is not worth eating unless it is brined. Thankfully brining a chop is much easier than brining, say, an entire turkey.

The mixture here goes into a zip-lock bag and into the fridge. I usually start this before I go out the door in the morning, and the chops are ready to rinse and grill when I get home from work.

For seasoning, I use a combination of fresh rosemary (one of the best deer-resistant flowering plants there is, so I have a large bush in my front yard), garlic, and capers.

I served this the other night with quinoa steamed in chicken broth and tossed with romanito tomatoes (you wouldn't think this was a good tomato in summer, but it's the best available this time of year) a little diced fontina and some sauteed spinach.


Brine the pork chops by dissolving 1/2 cup each Kosher salt and sugar in hot water in a large bowl. Add pork chops, a bay leaf, and a few allspice berries. Fill bowl the rest of the way with cold water. Pour mixture into a zip-lock bag and refrigerate for as long as eight hours.

When finished brining, rinse chops at least twice under cold water and pat dry. Discard the brining solution.

Next, mince fresh rosemary, garlic, and capers. Combine with olive oil to form a paste. Smear on the paste and let sit at room temperature for one hour.

Grill over high heat, turning to avoid flare ups. Time for grilling will vary with thickness of chops, but brined meats do cook quicker.


Purple Flowers said...

Welcome Back!!
Your family must LOVE your cooking!

I soak my pork chops in milk (all day) then lightly bread them w/bread crumbs (of course) and parm. cheese. Then I bake them. They come out super tender from the milk and very tasty.
I am going to try your recipe; the photos look really good!

J said...

I've never brined pork chops but I'm definitely going to try your recipe!

Deb said...

I am totally making these. They look amazing.

How is your dad doing post surgery?

Broady said...

Thanks for this-- we're eating more pork chops these days due to the economic pinch. Never thought about brining them!

Incidentally, I created a pork chop dish while watching the inaugural balls that turned out pretty darn good... I named it Pork Chops Obama.

Hope your dad is doing well.

Jackie said...

Thanks for this recipe Cindy. We eat pork chops all the time and I get so sick of them. These look tasty.

Midge said...


Kate said...

I am definitely going to try brining my pork chops because mine always turn out at least a little tough and sometimes like shoe leather. Another recipe I love is to grill them simply with olive oil and salt and pepper, then top them with a big dollop of handmade pesto - I use a mortar and pestle for a recipe from a book I can't remember right now.

preppyplayer said...

I am salivating. You had me at rosemary...
i come to your blog because of the skiing and cooking and I am never disapointed! Have a great weekend!

Belle in Bloom said...


Jen Yu said...

I need to brine my pork choppies. I only ever make pork chops in teriyaki form, which involves marinating them in soy sauce and other goodies. Is that in essence brining? I'm gonna be in your neck o' the woods come May! Let's meet up, yo. xxoo

Red Flashlight said...

That looks delicious! But the husband hates capers. Oh, well - we'll skip them.

Jennifer H said...

I might have to leave off the capers for my husband. :-(

That sounds so good.

sara said...

Looks great! I'm going to make your pork chops soon. I have to put pork on my gorcery list (I never buy it either b/c I don't know what to do with it). I'm also going to put a rosemary plant on my list. We are getting ready to put in a kitchen herb garden.
Thanks for the inspiration!