During my latest Mommy Funk this past weekend, James made an incredible dinner with pork chops. Have I ever mentioned how lucky I am to have such a great husband? Well, if I haven't said it before, I'm going to say it again: James is the BEST husband ever.
Anyway, back to the dinner he made: glazed pork chops. Now, I have not been a big pork chop fan in the past -- they tend to turn out dry and pretty tasteless, even after smothering the meat in spices, salt or pepper -- or a combination of all three. I usually enjoy them best covered in barbecue sauce since it masks the dryness. Then James made his pork chops -- they were great and have changed my outlook on a piece of meat I once avoided.
Glazed Pork Chops
4 cups of cold water
1/8 cup table salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
pinch cayenne pepper
4 boneless pork chops, 1/2 to 3/4 in. thick, trimmed of excess fat
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1. Brine the pork chops: in a large bowl, combine water and table salt and stir to dissolve. Place pork chops in solution, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove pork chops, rinse and pat dry. (Brining is optional, but it really makes the pork chops juicy and flavorful, not salty.)
2. Make the glaze: combine vinegar, brown sugar, apple juice, mustard, soy sauce, rosemary and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. With a sharp knife, cut two small slits about 2 inches apart through the fat or silver skin of the pork chop. (This will prevent the chop from contracting into a bowl-like shape.) Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch non stick skillet over medium high heat until just smoking Add the chops to the skillet and brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip the pork chops over and cook just 1 minute longer. Transfer the chops to a plate and remove the oil from the skillet.
4. Return the chops to the skillet and add the glaze mixture. Cook over medium heat until the center of the chops register 140 to 145 degrees, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops. Remove the skillet from the heat, transfer the chops to a plate and cover with foil. (The pork will continue to cook until it reaches 150 degrees, about 5 minutes).
5. Pour any accumulated juices from the pork chop plate into the glaze. Return the skillet to the heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until the glaze as thickened. Place the chops back in the skillet and turn to coat. Serve chops with remaining glaze.