Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Brine for Pork Chops

While not strictly necessary, I like to brine my pork chops when I think of it and have time. It adds just a bit of extra insurance that the chops will come out nice and moist and juicy. Brining the meat makes it both more flavorful and juicier, so if you happen to leave it cooking a few extra minutes, it will still be excellent.

This is a basic brine that I really like. You could add other flavors with different types of sugar or honey, different vinegars, citrus juice, a little heat from chili flakes...You get the idea.

1 Cup Broth
2 Tbsp Salt
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Cold Water
2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Peppercorns
1 Clove Garlic, Peeled and Smashed
2 Center Cut Pork Chops

Combine the broth, salt, and brown sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour into a shallow bowl, and add the cold water, cider vinegar, bay leaf, peppercorns and garlic. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before adding the pork chops. Cover and refrigerate from 4-8 hours. Remove the pork chops from the brine, pat dry, and cook according to your recipe as you would non-brined chops.

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