Cider-Brined Pork Chops
Recipe from EatingWell

Once brined, these chops can be pan-fried, broiled or grilled. The main caution here is not to overcook them. Brining (soaking in a salt solution) helps keep the chops firm and juicy, but even brining will not prevent dry hard chops if overcooked. Bone-in rib chops at least 1 inch thick are the best choice for this recipe, and each one is typically large enough to feed two people. Using the thicker chops and dividing them before serving is much better than trying to cook super-thin chops, which can easily be overcooked before they are browned on the outside.


Cider-Brined Pork Chops

by 1  person


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Servings: 4
Prep Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 4 hrs 15 mins
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Ingredients
  • 2   cups 
    apple cider
  • 1   cup 
    water
  • 1/4  cup 
    kosher salt
  • 1/4  cup 
    honey
  • 1/8  teaspoon 
    ground cinnamon
  • 2   cups 
    ice
  • 2   
    bone-in pork rib chops, (about 1 3/4 pounds, 1-1 1/4 inch thick), trimmed
  • 1   teaspoon 
    fresh sage, chopped
  • 1   teaspoon 
    freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon 
    ground ginger, divided
  • 2   teaspoons 
    extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1   teaspoon 
    butter
  • 1/2  cup 
    onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2  cup 
    white wine
  • 1   
    tart apple, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2  cup 
    apple cider
Directions
1.
To prepare cider brine: Pour cider and water into a bowl and stir in salt until dissolved, then stir in honey and cinnamon until the honey is dissolved. Stir in ice and check to see that the mixture registers 45 degrees F or lower on an instant-read thermometer.
2.
To prepare chops & apples: Place chops in a large sealable plastic bag. Carefully add the brine to the bag, seal, then place the bag in a bowl in case of any leaks. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.
3.
Combine sage, pepper and 1/8 teaspoon ginger in a small bowl. Remove the chops from the brine. (Discard bag and brine.) Sprinkle both sides of the chops with the sage mixture.
4.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add oil and the chops. Cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate.
5.
Melt butter in the pan; add onion, stir to coat, cover and cook, stirring often, until starting to turn translucent and brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits; cook for 1 minute. Stir in apple, cider and 1/8 teaspoon ginger; bring to a boil. Nestle the chops into the sauce, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the chops, cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 145 degrees F, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chops to a warm platter and tent with foil.
6.
Bring the sauce in the pan to a boil and cook until it is syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.
Tip:

1.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Brine chops (Steps 1-2) for up to 8 hours.
Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 261, Fat, total (g) 12, chol. (mg) 74, sat. fat (g) 4, carb. (g) 8, Monosaturated fat (g) 6, fiber (g) 1, pro. (g) 22, sodium (mg) 369, Potassium (mg) 490, Fruit () 0.5, Lean Meat () 3, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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