I never really used to cook with pork. I was a beef, chicken, seafood girl for most of my life. But ever since I started dating my boyfriend, who is Polish, I have been warming up to pork. They eat this stuff like crazy! So the last time we ordered some meat online, I threw in some pork chops to see what I could do with them.
And they sat in the freezer for months. Whoops.
Until now! This is a slight adaptation of a recipe I found when searching the web for how to cook pork chops. And it was amazingly juicy and tender, and delicious.
I think I may like pork now. Like, A LOT.
1) 2-4 pork chops (mine were center-cut, boneless), about 1 inch thick or whatever you have
2) 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of salt (for the brine)
3) 1 tablespoon of cooking fat, your choice (I used duck fat this time, but coconut oil would be great)
4) 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1) Well first you're going to brine these puppies, which I had never done before. But it definitely makes a difference in the juiciness of your meat!
2) Heat up 1 cup of water until very hot. Add in your 2 tablespoons of salt and stir until dissolved. Then add in 1 more cup of cold water. Stir and let sit until it's not too hot anymore.
3) Using a small pan (8x8 works), put in your pork chops, and then cover them with the brine. It should cover the whole thing. This pan size should work for 2 or 4 chops.
4) Place the pan in the fridge for 1-3 hours to marinate. I did it for an hour because it was almost dinner time when I started.
|The brine and the chops!|
6) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
7) On the stove top, you need to use a pan that you can put into the oven with the chops in it. I used a cast iron, but any pan that's oven safe will work.
8) Heat up your pan on medium-high heat for at least 5 minutes.
9) Drain the brine from the pork chops and use a paper towel to dry them off. Then coat both sides with a little bit of your cooking fat.
10) Once the pan is hot, add the pork chops to the pan and cook for 3 minutes on this side.
11) Flip the chops over, and add about 1 teaspoon of maple syrup to the top of each pork chop, and then pop the whole thing in the oven.
12) Cook another 4-8 minutes, until the chops are at your desired doneness. I cooked them to 140 degrees, and that took 5 minutes.
13) Take the chops out of the pan so they don't cook anymore, and serve them up.
Super juicy and delicious! You could definitely use honey or brown sugar on top in place of the maple syrup if you don't have it. Just gives it a tiny sweetness.