Smokehouse Maple Brined Pork Chops recipe & tutorial: how to brine pork chops before grilling to infuse with maple flavor and make them tender and juicy.
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Roger Mooking is a Trinidadian-Canadian chef, musician, and television host of the series Man Fire Food*. He is also the host and co-creator of Everyday Exotic.
Smokehouse Maple Brined Pork Chops
- ¾ c sea salt
- ¼ c plus 2 tablespoons and pinch, McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
- ½ c packed light brown sugar, divided
- 8 c water, divided
- 4 bone-in center-cut pork chops (3/4-inch thick, about 2 1/2-2 3/4 pounds total)
- vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Granny Smith apples, each peeled, cored and cut into six wedges
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh chives (optional)
In medium saucepan, whisk salt, 1/4 cup seasoning, 1/4 cup sugar and 4 cups water. Bring to simmer, whisking constantly, until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour in remaining water and mix thoroughly. Transfer brine to large container with lid and cool to room temperature.
Add pork chops to brine. Cover and refrigerate 8-10 hours.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Brush lightly with oil. Season both sides of pork with 2 tablespoons seasoning.
Grill until bottom side of pork chops are well marked and charred, 7-9 minutes. Flip and grill 4-6 minutes, or until cooked through and internal temperature registers 145° F. Let rest under tented foil.
Place large cast-iron skillet on grill. Juice one lemon half into small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and remaining sugar to skillet and stir with heatproof spatula until mixture resembles wet sand. Cook with grill open, stirring frequently, until sugar melts and deepens to amber, about 8 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Once foam subsides, add apples. Close grill and cook, stirring gently to coat apples in caramel, until apples are tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add remaining lemon juice and pinch of seasoning; stir gently.
Arrange pork chops on platter and top with apples. Zest remaining lemon half over dish. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.
Recipe by chef Roger Mooking, recipe and photo courtesy of McCormick
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