Brined Pork Chops with Apple Compote
I love pork chops, and they pair so well with fruit. This apple “sauce” is really a chunky compote that is full of flavor. You can certainly skip the apple brandy if you don’t have it in the house, but it adds another layer of flavor. Grill the pork chops on your BBQ or use an indoor grill pan if you can’t get outside!
- For the brine:
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 2 tbsp brown sugar, firmly packed
- 6 peppercorns
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- For the apple sauce:
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" dice
- 3 tbsp brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, low sodium
- 1/3 cup Calvados or Brandy
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preparation Time: 25 minutes, plus 24 hours to brine
To make the brine, place the salt, sugar, and peppercorns in a large, nonreactive bowl. Pour a small amount of hot water in the bowl to dissolve the salt and sugar, then add 6 cups of cold water. Place the pork chops in the brine, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove the pork chops from the brine. Rinse under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Let the meat stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the apple sauce. In a large saucepan over medium, heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the brown sugar has melted and the apples are nicely glazed, 1-2 minutes. Add the ginger and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken broth and then the Calvados or brandy if you’re using it. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for grilling over medium-high heat (375˚F.) Generously oil the grill rack. (Alternatively, place an indoor grilling pan over medium-high heat on the cooktop and lightly brush with oil.) Place the pork chops on the grill, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the chops, cover again, and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the chop away from the bone registers 140-150˚F for medium well, about 5-10 minutes longer. Remove the pork chops from the grill and tent with aluminum foil. Let them rest for 10 minutes. Reheat the apple sauce over low heat and stir in the additional 2T. butter if you’d like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve each pork chop on a warmed serving plate (if you can!) with a generous portion of apple sauce spooned over the chops. Serve immediately.
Cook Time: 25 minutes