Brined Pork Chops With Apples


4 center-cut pork loin chops, 1 1/2" thk trimmed of
excess fat
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup golden brown sugar - (packed)
3 tablespoons coarsely-ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion thinly sliced
2 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored,
and thinly sliced - (abt 2 cups)
3/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste


For brine: Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add pork chops to brine. Top with plate to submerge pork. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
For pork: Drain brine from pork chops. Pat pork dry. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add pork and cook until brown but not cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pork to plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to same skillet. Cover and cook until onion is soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add apples and saute until pale golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth and cider, then Calvados, raisins and ginger, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add cream and mustard. Bring sauce to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add pork. Cover; cook 3 minutes. Turn pork over and cook until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150 degrees, about 3 minutes longer.
Simmer sauce until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes longer. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over pork and serve.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
Comments: Pork, always a favorite in the Midwest and the South, gained popularity early in the century. Immigrants from pork-loving countries such as Germany and Poland were crowding the cities and finding that fresh pork, a luxury back home, was abundant and affordable. Recipes of the time called for pan-frying chops, covering them with apples and baking them for an hour or so. But that would leave today"s pork, which is less fatty, very dry. Here, brining is the trick for making pork chops flavorful and juicy.





4.0 servings


Friday, January 1, 2010 - 3:53am



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