Foodie

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Brined Pork Chop Dinner




Thanksgiving is around the corner and i have been so caught up with whatever??????? and you would not believe me when i tell you that i have not even bought 'The Turkey' - a must have for Thanksgiving.  Renee and Alexander are very optimistic that they might win a turkey AGAIN this year in their school Turkey Pokey.  They confidently told me the other day when i mentioned that i have not bought the turkey yet - they said - Popo don't buy, we MIGHT come home with one from the school's Turkey Trot.  I was so happy that they showed so much enthusiasm, i love all three of my grandchildren as they are such good kids - The chinese saying or rather my saying - "Ah po has no naughty grandchildren until they lau kei".  So, for all those people who have not bought the turkey, please do so today cos these frozen birds take awhile to thaw and the clock is ticking fast to Thanksgiving Day.  In the meantime, we all still have to dine and since the mind has been refreshed to BRINING,  i would like to share a BRINED PORK CHOP dinner which has never failed to please every member of the family including yours truly.  I have never cooked pork chops without brining since i learned how to and you too can learn about it from HERE


The recipe i am sharing is from Alton Brown,  the  regular recipe stated 1 cup salt but I cut it down to 3/4 cup you could even reduce the salt down to 1/2 cup but go ahead and use the 1 cup if you wish, remember kosher salt ONLY or you will not be able to eat the chops, and only brine the pork for 2 hours, NO MORE than that! If you HAVE to use table salt, use half of 3/4 cups.You can use less than 5 large thick-cut pork chops or you might be able to fit more pork chops than five, just make certain that the meat is completely covered with the brine.

BTW, when The Turkey is bought and thawed, learn how to BRINE it from HERE

Ingredients

5 thick loin-end pork chops (there are 5 in our family)
Oil for browning.

Brine:

3/4 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon mustard powder ( do not use prepared mustard!)
2 cups cider vinegar ( heated until hot)
1 lb ice cubes

Sauce:

1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup apple cider
1 teaspoons chicken granules


Method:

For the brine:
In a large plastic container with a lid, put in the salt, brown sugar, peppercorns and mustard powder; add in the HOT vinegar and swirl to dissolve the sugar and salt completely.

Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes at room temperature to develop flavor.

Add in the ice cubes and shake to melt most of the ice.

Add in the pork chops, making certain that the meat is completely covered with the brine.

Cover with lid and refrigerate for 2 hours (NO MORE than 2 hours!). (I have left a piece of pork chop in the brine for more than 12 hrs and it was fine, perhaps i used less salt)

Rinse the pork well under cold water before cooking.

To Pan fry the brined pork chops:

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add oil and when oil is hot, put in 2 pork chops. Cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chops onto a plate and continue to finish cooking the other 3 pieces of pork chops..


To make the sauce
Melt butter in the pan; add onion, stir to coat, 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. Add in cider and chicken granules, 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°F, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chops to a warm platter and tent with foil.

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.



I served the chops with potato and sweet potato fries together with Spring mix.
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