Rick Gresh is executive chef at David Burke’s Primehouse in downtown Chicago. We’re in full-on brining mode, but it’s not just about salt water and poultry. Chef Gresh loaned us his recipe for a cider brine that will keep pork chops moist and succulent as well.
“I created the recipe thinking of the fall, and nothing says fall like apple cider! Brines are a great way to add flavor, tenderness and juiciness to dishes. You have to plan a little further ahead since most items need to sit for a day or more, but it’s well worth it,” he says.
- 4 bone-in pork chops, about 12 ounces each
For the cider brine
- 3 quarts cold water
- 1 quart apple cider
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups kosher salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
For the maple black pepper bacon chutney
- 1 slab bacon (about a pound), cut into medium dice
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons black pepper, coarsely ground
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 2 cups apple juice
- 1 bay leaf
- salt, to taste
- Combine all ingredients for the brine.
- Add the pork chops to the brine and let sit for 12-18 hours.
- In a medium pot, sweat the bacon until about half-cooked. Drain the rendered fat, add the onions, garlic and sweat until translucent.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thick and syrupy. Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Drain pork from the brine and pat dry before grilling.
- Place pork on a medium high to high temperature grill, flipping and turning as required, about 5-7 minutes per side.
- Cook to desired doneness and top with the warm bacon chutney.
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