This is the definitely the best pork chop recipe I have seen in a very long time.
It takes a bit of extra time because the meat is brined before you grill it, but if you have the time, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
Grilling pork chops can make them dry if you are not careful, but brining the chops beforehand certainly solves that one.
This recipe for brined pork chops comes from a wonderful cookbook called Cooking the Cowboy Way: Recipes Inspired by Campfires, Chuck Wagons, and Ranch Kitchens, by Grady Spears and June Naylor.
Grady Spears knows his way around a ranch and a ranch kitchen. This particular pork chop recipe is from the Burning Pear Restaurant in Sugar Land, Texas. It was voted best pork dish in the Houston area by a local newspaper.
What makes it stand out is the combination of the citrus brine and the sweet brown sugar dry rub that develops a crust when grilled over an open fire.
Brown Sugar–Crusted Porterhouse Pork Chops with Apple Walnut Slaw
- 1 gallon water, divided
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, whole
- 1/2 cup thyme leaves, fresh, loosely packed, or 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 oranges, halved
- 1 white onion, large, cut into thick slices
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 6 porterhouse pork chops, 12-ounces each
For the Rub:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper, ground
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground
- To make the brine, in a large, deep pot, bring 4 cups of the water to a simmer and add the salt, bay leaves, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper, thyme, and sugar. Whisk and simmer for about 1 minute, or until the salt has dissolved. Add the oranges, onion, garlic, and remaining 3 quarts water. Remove from the heat and cool the brine.
- Add the pork chops to the brine and place a plate on top of the chops to keep them submerged. Place the pot in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours. While the chops are brining, make the Apple-Walnut Slaw (recipe below).
- Remove the chops from the brine, scrape off any of the spices, and pat dry. Discard the brine and place the chops on a plate. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to grill.
- To make the rub, mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Prepare your gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat, and coat the brined chops in the rub.
- Grill the pork chops on each side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 170ºF. Make sure the chops aren’t too close to the coals, as the brown sugar can cause a flame to flare.
- Transfer the pork chops to a plate and allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Serve the pork chops with the Apple-Walnut Slaw below.
- Toss the apples with the fresh lemon juice so the apples don’t turn brown. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together with the apples in a large mixing bowl, adjusting the seasonings to taste.
- Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- 4 Granny Smith apples, cored and julienned
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup red grapes, halved
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 3 green onions, green and white parts, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup creamy blue cheese salad dressing
Tips for Making the Best Pork Chop Recipe:
- To toast the fennel and cumin seeds, use a cast-iron skillet over high heat, shaking the pan frequently and making sure the seeds don’t burn.
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