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Friday, March 18, 2011

Brined Pork Chops

I had some pork sirloin chops that I got for a good price.  Hub merely tolerates the pork chop.  I think he wishes I never bought them.  Fact is, every one else likes them and they're cheap.  So now and again, it's pork chop night.

Now, I do take Hub into consideration when planning meals.  This was no different.  I rooted around to see what I could do to make the chops extra tasty.  And I found the answer.  Brining.  According to the cook book where I found this recipe, in the past 20 or so years, most of the fat (ie taste) has been bred out of pork.  Brining is a great way to add flavor.  Brining just means something is soaking in salt water.

Brined Pork Chops
adapted from It's All American Food

Brine:
4 c. cold water
4 tbsp. coarse salt
2 tbsp. sugar
10 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. celery seeds
1/2 orange, halved again

That's what a bowl of brine looks like.

Mix all brine ingredients, squeezing orange juice out of orange before adding peels to brine mixture.  Stir a bit to combine.  Then add your chops.  Brine the chops for an hour in the fridge.

pork chops (I used 5 1/2 inch-thick sirloin chops that I cut in half; you could use any type you like)

For frying:
3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, shortening (whatever you like)

Remove the chops and let the liquid drip back into the bowl.  Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag.  Toss the chops (a few at a time) to coat and set aside on a plate (don't stack them).

Heat your oil.  A word about olive oil... if you are using a low-quality olive oil, it will have a lower smoke point and will not be suitable for this recipe.  Once your oil starts to smoke, it starts to taste gross.  I used a combination of olive oil and butter for frying my pork chops.

Add the chops to the heated oil and lower heat to medium.  Cook 5 minutes (don't touch them, they're browning).  Flip them over and cook another 5 minutes.  Cover your pan and turn the heat down to low, and cook for 6 more minutes.

Drain the chops on paper towels, and let them rest a couple minutes before serving.

These do not come out tasting all salty and gross.  Instead, they are DELICIOUS.  Seriously.  Hub had 2 of them.  That's a record for him.

I did take a picture for you but pork chops are not very photogenic.

3 comments:

  1. I am going to try this. Last night I did the old standby thing -- browned pork chops in the crock pot with crm mush soup over the top. I am at the point now where I have a very low tolerance for crm mush soup, though my family likes it... yuck. I never fry my chops anymore because I always used to overcook them. So, Carrie, I am taking a chance on you. You do have a good record so far. :)

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  2. Seriously. I am never making chops any other way but this way for the rest of my days. Let me know how they turn out!!

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  3. Okay, Carrie, this is the day! The chops are sitting in the brine as I speak. Only I miscalculated and started them an hour early, so these are going to have to be extra briny-tasty. One chop is 1/2" and another is 1" thick... of course. That's my kitchen for you. Will let you know how they turn out!

    In the meantime, try these:
    http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/2011/04/these-are-simply-amazing.html
    Too good.

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