"Blazing" and "victorious" is more than likely overstating the situation, but I did venture to try pork chops again for New Year's Eve dinner, and it went much better this time than the previous. Well, I didn't cry, which is a vast improvement.
Adapted from Tyler Florence
A few notes: I made only 3 pork chops, but I'm giving the recipe for 4 because that's easier. And, the original recipe was much fancier and had something about roasted grapes, two cast iron skillets, allspice, and other doodads. Mine wasn't as fancy.
- 4 bone-in pork chops, each about 1.5" thick
- 2 quarts room temperature water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt (1/8 cup if you're using regular table salt)
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 4 slices prosciutto (about 1 oz)
- 2 oz shredded asiago (I just said 2 oz--I actually have no idea. I used about 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded asiago)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
Hi pork. I love you.
No really, I do. Come back!
In a large bowl or other container, combine the water, sugar and salt. Mix until sugar and salt dissolve. I then poured the brine into a gallon sized bag because I was only using 3 pork chops and they all fit, but if 4 pork chops won't fit in a gallon-sized bag with the brine, then go ahead with your container.
Store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours.
Remove oinkies from brine, shake off excess brine, and pat them dry with a paper towel. The next step is optional, but if you have time then go for it. I laid out the pork chops on a tray and then put them in the refrigerator for a few hours. Purpose? Dry out the surface just a touch so that when you sear the pork chops, they develop a nice crust instead of steaming. Did it make a huge difference? Dunno.
But I get to sit here and write that I let them air-dry for a while. Wheeee!!!!
When they're all dried, whether by a paper towel rubdown or some time, naked, in the fridge, take a knife and make a horizontal slit in the side of each pork chop. Kind of like a pocket.
Stuff the pocket you just made with 1 slice of prosciutto and about 1 to 2 TBS of shredded asiago.
Can't see what I'm doing? Here's another angle.
Which is oddly disturbing, but you get a better idea of what I'm doing.
Slide in some toothpicks sideways to seal the pocket. No need to season the exterior, there is plenty 'o' salt in these.
Heat about 2 to 3 TBS olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Plonk your pork chops down and cook until a nice crust forms, about 5 minutes.
Turn heat down to medium, and carefully flip the pork chops.
And cook until just slightly pink on the inside, about 5 to 7 minutes. Or something like that. It got really touch and go for me at this point because I had no idea what I was doing. Haven't heard that from me before, have ya?
Next time, I will probably finish the pork chops off in the oven (Tyler Florence says 425 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes).
I served these chops with roasted broccoli sprinkled with parmesan, asiago, and lemon juice, and a warm potato salad.
Oh, and don't forget to remove the toothpicks before eating. I seriously started to freak out when I was making my first cut into my precious, labored-over pork chop and couldn't saw through the damn thing. But all was well. Sneaky toothpick.