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Cider-Brined Pork Chops

Source: © EatingWell Magazine
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Active Time:  50 Minutes
Total Time:  4 Hours 15 Minutes
  4 servings
Once brined, these chops can be pan-fried, broiled or grilled. The main caution here is not to overcook them. Brining (soaking in a salt solution) helps keep the chops firm and juicy, but even brining will not prevent dry hard chops if overcooked. Bone-in rib chops at least 1 inch thick are the best choice for this recipe, and each one is typically large enough to feed two people. Using the thicker chops and dividing them before serving is much better than trying to cook super-thin chops, which can easily be overcooked before they are browned on the outside.

Make Ahead Tip: Brine chops (Steps 1-2) for up to 8 hours.
For Cider-Brined Pork Chops:
Cider Brine
2 cups  apple cider
1 cup  water
1/4 cup  kosher salt
1/4 cup  honey
1/8 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
2 cups  ice
For Pork Chops & Sauteed Apples:
2   bone-in pork rib chops (about 1 3/4 pounds, 1-1 1/4 inch thick), trimmed
1 teaspoon  fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon  ground ginger, divided
2 teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil olive
1 teaspoon  butter
1/2 cup  onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup  white wine
1 tart apple, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup  apple cider
Cider-Brined Pork Chops Recipe at
To prepare cider brine: Pour cider and water into a bowl and stir in salt until dissolved, then stir in honey and cinnamon until the honey is dissolved. Stir in ice and check to see that the mixture registers 45°F or lower on an instant-read thermometer.

To prepare chops & apples: Place chops in a large sealable plastic bag. Carefully add the brine to the bag, seal, then place the bag in a bowl in case of any leaks. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

Combine sage, pepper and 1/8 teaspoon ginger in a small bowl. Remove the chops from the brine. (Discard bag and brine). Sprinkle both sides of the chops with the sage mixture.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add oil and the chops. Cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate.

Melt butter in the pan; add onion, stir to coat, cover and cook, stirring often, until starting to turn translucent and brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits; cook for 1 minute. Stir in apple, cider and 1/8 teaspoon ginger; bring to a boil. Nestle the chops into the sauce, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the chops, cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 145°F, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chops to a warm platter and tent with foil.

Bring the sauce in the pan to a boil and cook until it is syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of © EatingWell Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   4 servings
Calories: 261
Fat. Total: 12g
Protein: 22g
Carbohydrates, Total: 8g
Fat, Saturated: 4g
Fiber: 1g
Cholesterol: 74mg
Sodium: 369mg
% Cal. from Fat: 41%
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