Close up of plated pork chop with sauce on plate ,as seen on Un-Choppable, Season 1.
Recipe courtesy of Un-Choppable

Cider-Brined Pork Chops with Perfect Pan Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes cooling and brining time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
This brine has a higher concentration of salt than most, allowing it to add flavor and moisture to your chops in as little as 30 minutes. If you have more time, brine them up to 4 hours for maximum flavor, but no longer or the pork will be too salty. Add the easy pan sauce to your repertoire and make it your own by using white wine or dark beer instead of cider and varying the herbs based on what you like and have on hand.

Ingredients

Brine:

Sauce:

Directions

  1. For the brine: combine the salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, coriander, mustard seeds, allspice berries, bay leaves, thyme and 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and pour in the cold cider. Let the brine cool to room temperature.
  2. Put the pork chops in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the brine. Press out excess air and seal tightly. Put the bag in a shallow container so it can lay flat and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. 
  3. Drain the chops, rinse and pat dry. Discard the brine. 
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chops (work in batches if necessary; do not crowd the pan) and cook, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and cooked through, 13 to 14 minutes. (If the chops are browning too quickly or the pan drippings start to burn, lower the heat.) Remove to a plate. 
  5. For the sauce: Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and place over medium heat. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and cook until sizzling, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to make a paste. Whisk in the cider and bring to a simmer.  
  6. Simmer until very thick, about 1 minute. Add the stock, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the cream and simmer to bring the sauce together, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, vinegar and parsley. Season to taste with salt. Add the chops to the pan and simmer, turning occasionally, until just heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve garnished with fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs.