Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Buttermilk-Brined Pork Chops by Tom

Buttermilk-Brined Pork Chops by Tom

Last summer, after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, I discovered the interesting taste and characteristics of brining boneless pork chops.  Since last summer I have made that recipe about five times, each time with very good results.  But recently I found another brining recipe in a new cookbook that Barbara bought for the house The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites.  So having enjoyed my first brining experiment, I thought I would try another brining approach.  I like this one even better!  The ingredients are more evident after cooking in this one, and it actually tastes a little lighter, perhaps from the lemon zest.  This is an easy recipe to make and I highly recommend it.
Buttermilk-Brined Pork Chops
adapted from The Best of Cooking Light

4 servings, one chop per person

2 cups buttermilk
2 T. salt
2 T. sugar
1 T. grated lemon rind
1 t. chopped fresh rosemary
1 t. chopped fresh sage
4 boneless pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick
2 t. freshly ground black pepper

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; shake well to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Add the pork to the brining solution, seal well, shake up the bag some more to make sure all of the surfaces of the pork are coated with the brine mixture, and then pop it into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or even overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

When you are ready to cook, remove the pork from the bag, and discard the buttermilk mixture.  Pat the pork dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle the pork with fresh ground pepper.

I grilled these chops for about 15 minutes.  You will have to judge based on the thickness of your pork chop.  But in any case, the internal temperature should be about 160 degrees.  This will make for a juicy pork chop.

We served this dish with green beans and a sweet potato that I also roasted on the grill for about 45 minutes.  It was very tender and flavorful.  Enjoy this new brining recipe!


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