Blissfully Delicious

Orange and Rosemary Brined Pork Chops

rosemary and orange pork chops 2

As much as the fall season screams “baking” like no other season (well maybe because it’s leading up to Christmas, which of course screams cookies), I have been having so much fun with the fall produce that I’ve been cooking more than baking. This past weekend, I took my family to a small local orchard owned by a farmer, who just started his “pick your own” orchard this July. I found out about his farm from another Iowa blogger through Facebook, and I contacted him and asked him what produce he had still available. I picked some green beans, gathered some squashes and sweet potatoes. The kids picked raspberries, pears, and chased  farm cats and kitties.  It was one of the best weekends that we’ve had in a long time. As much I love city living and all of the convenience and entertainment that big city offers, I’m very passionate about supporting our local businesses, especially those who produce the food that we eat. I stopped buying name-brand milk when I moved to Iowa eight years ago, and made sure that I buy from the local dairy farms.

rosemary and orange pork chops One of the things that has also changed since I moved to Iowa is my feeling for pork. I have met and known families who raise hogs, got to know their pork processing  and I have established a different level of respect for those folks. I had mixed feelings about pork chops for the longest time, not only that I felt like I didn’t know what to do with them, I just wasn’t sure about the quality of these meat. As far as cooking them, I want them to be tender, yet cooked all the way, and it’s always a fine balance to make sure that I get both the flavors and texture. I also want some sort of flavors added to enhance the pork, but just enough to make the pork flavors stand out without overpowering it. Bring them is really a nice way to add just enough flavors, and making sure that the chops are juicier and more tender. This is a simple yet impressive recipe, perfect for weeknight supper with or without company. Enjoy!

Orange and Rosemary Brined Pork Chops

Yield: 4 chops

Ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup coarse salt
2 dried bay leaves
8 1-by-3-inch strips orange zest
16 whole black peppercorns
3 small sprigs rosemary
4 bone-in pork rib chops (each about 12 ounces and 1 inch thick)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for serving

Directions:

Combine sugar, salt, bay leaves, orange zest, peppercorns, rosemary, and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved. Reduce to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Pour over pork chops in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover and refrigerate, turning once, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Remove pork from brine; discard brine. Pat chops dry; let stand 15 minutes. Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add pork, working in batches, if necessary, and cook until bottoms are deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops (without touching bone) registers 138 degrees, about 3 minutes more. Let rest 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Source: Martha Stewart Living

   

2 Responses to “Orange and Rosemary Brined Pork Chops”

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    Mollie — October 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    This looks really delicious! Since moving to Germany (hello pork-land), I have also gotten to appreciate pork. I need new recipes because my German Mann loves pork. :)

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    Carol at Wild Goose Tea — October 13, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Excellent seasoning flavors that go well with pork. I think pork might be my favorite meat. I like cooking with rosemary since I have a bush in my garden. Too far north for any oranges however.

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