Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Apple Brined Porkchops

If you have never brined anything, you are missing out! It brings flavor and moisture like you would never believe. Many people brine a Thanksgiving turkey. Amazing! I haven't done a full on Thanksgiving yet, but that is what I would do.

Personally, I always hated porkchops. Boring, bland, tough. Then I came across a apple brine in a George Foreman cookbook of all places. It was FANTASTIC. Moist, tender, and FULL of flavor.

Brining takes 5 minutes of prep work, and a few hours of soaking, but it makes making a flavorful piece of meat easy.

Apple Brined Pork Chops

4 pork chops (bone in or boneless, doesn't matter)

Brine ingredients:

2 cups apple juice or apple cider (I get the can of concentrate  because I don't keep apple juice in the house. Ick)
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 onion, quartered and peeled
1 apple, quartered
a pinch of ground thyme (or a sprig or two if you have fresh on hand)
2 smashed garlic cloves

In a small sauce pan, heat all the brine ingredients, minus ice of course. Once salt and sugar dissolve, remove from heat. As long as its not insanely hot, we are good to move on.
Yummy, no?

In a large ziplock, place all the meat. Pour the brine in. Fill with ice. Slosh around to make sure its all in between the meat.

Place in bowl in fridge (still in bag) for at least 1 hour, better if its 4 or 5. Try no more than 6 though.

Once ready to cook, rinse pork and discard brine.

Cook however you would like. Its great grilled (be careful of burning because of the sugars). Or you can sear in a pan and then cover and cook on the stove top or oven until cooked through.

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