First, an apology. I've been way behind on my blogging. I'm going to be better though! Lots of crazy work stuff going on so far this year. Ok. Moving on. To get back on track - we are going to go back - way back - to January. Bon Appetit's January 2013 edition that is. This issue might be one of my favorite of all time. You might remember this DELICIOUS dessert: a Lemon Honey Tart with Salted Shortbread Crust that knocked my socks off a few weeks back. This pork chop was featured on the cover, and immediately my boyfriend was on his way to the store. So we decided that this would be his official blog post. We followed this recipe to a "T", so we must link to the original recipe, as Gour-Maybe can't take any credit for this one! The ingredients are super easy - the only thing you might not have are juniper berries, but you can find them with the spices at most stores. The brining makes these chops extra juicy, and pan roasting them with a butter finish makes them extra tasty. We followed the directions pretty much exactly, although I would watch the cooking times and check a few minutes before they say. The only thing you really have to decide is what to eat with them. We did smashed new potatoes with parsley and peas. I am blogging about the potatoes in this post as well. But you could do whatever side floats your boat. Or even a good salad. Read all about those chops after the jump.
Bon Appetit's Pan Roasted, Brined Pork Chop (Serves 2)
You will need:
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 C water
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise, plus 2 unpeeled cloves
- 2 large sprigs thyme
- 2 2-inch-thick bone-in pork chop (2 ribs each; about 1 1/4 lb.)
- 4 T vegetable oil (2 per chop)
- 6 T unsalted butter (3 per chop)
- Coarse sea salt
- Large, seal-able container
- Large cast iron skillet
- 2 lbs new potatoes
- 1 C Italian flat leaf parsley - chopped
- 3 T butter
- 1 T kosher salt
- 1 T black pepper
For the brine, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the salt, sugar, juniper berries, peppercorns, garlic head, and 1 thyme sprig; stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 5 cups ice cubes. Stir until brine is cool. Add pork chops; cover and chill for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.
Preheat your oven to 450°. Set a wire roasting rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Remove chop from brine; pat dry. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large cast-iron skillet. Cook chop until beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook until second side is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Keep turning chop every 2 minutes until both sides are deep golden brown, 8-10 minutes total. Transfer skillet to oven and roast chop, turning every 2 minutes to prevent it from browning too quickly, until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of meat registers 132°, about 10 minutes. (Chop will continue to cook during basting and resting.) Place new potatoes in a large pot and cover with water (by about 1.5 inches). Bring to a boil and boil until potatoes are tender about 15 minutes. Drain, and return to pot. Add butter, salt and pepper and parsley. Smash with a potato masher or large fork until potatoes have a rough smash. Carefully drain fat from skillet and place back over medium heat. Add butter, the 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, and remaining thyme sprig; cook until butter is foamy. Carefully tilt skillet and, using a large spoon or silicone brush, baste chop repeatedly with butter until butter is brown and smells nutty, 2-3 minutes. Transfer pork chop to the rack and let it rest, turning often to ensure juices are evenly distributed, for 12-15 minutes. Place a large scoop of potatoes and top with a chop, spooning a little more sauce from the pan over the top. Serve immediately.