Monday, July 20, 2009

Spiced Beer Brined Pork Chops with Skillet Corn, Jalapenos, and Heirloom Tomatos

If this doesn't convert those who dislike pork chops, then I surrender, and suggest you use the brine on chicken. It gives the meat an otherworldly, freshly killed vibrancy, provided you still take the time to cook it correctly. Remember - brine is like Cliff Notes for a cook - they give you a quick leg up but can't do all the work for you:)

By the way - I can't remember how I made the Skillet Corn so I'll post the recipe when I make it again.

Spiced Beer Brined Pork Chops

2 double cut, bone-in pork chops

Brine Ingredients:
2 cups water
2 cups dark beer (such as a Boch or Hefeweisein - no 'light' beers or sissy lagers)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick, broken into shards
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
1 cup ice cubes

Rub Ingredients:
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

fresh cracked black pepper

Make the brine by combining all of the brine ingredients, except the ice together until the molasses and sugar have blended well into the other ingredients in a large bowl or wide dish big enough to hold the chops with the brine. Stir in the ice, then add the chops, making sure they are submerged in the brine. Regrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 8, removing from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

When ready to grill, preheat your outdoor grill if using (I just used my stovetop grill pan and it worked great) to medium high heat. Remove the chops from the brine and gently pat dry. Have all of the rub ingredients mixed together, then sprinkle it over every inch of the chops, rubbing in to get a good coat. Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper lightly on both sides (you can add a pinch more salt if you want as well), then grill about 8-10 minutes per side (or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the centers registers 145.) Transfer to a holding plate or platter, tent loosely with foil, and let stand 5 minutes before cutting into.

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