Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pork Chop Redemption

Hail the mighty pork chops.  After a bloody, then overly crispy battle, they have returned blazing and victorious with redolent porky yumminess.


"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.

Ta-da!

12 comments:

  1. Those are some serious porkchops! And I bet they were super tasty!

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  2. I love pork chops. this just made me super hungry- they look amazing! I love the combo of two pork products :)

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  3. yum! I have not yet made a pork chop because I'm afraid. But that sear looks delish.

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  4. I haven't tackled stuffed chops but I think you just inspired me. Yay for pork stuffed pork! With Cheese! And potatoes! Mmmm.

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  5. These look yummy. I might have to try this.

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  6. ahhhh... cook until slightly pink! the secret to tender stuffed pork chops! mine always come out like little lead weights.

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  7. OMG that looks so good. We're a no-pork household, but if I could sneak over to someone else's house and use their kitchen, I might make this.

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  8. Have you tried boneless pork chops? I find them much easier to cook, and more meat. Possibly easier to stuff as well. Stuffed pork chops was the first real meal I ever made, but this recipe looks WAY better! Pork stuffed with pork and cheese. Drool.

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  9. I keep coming back to look at the pic of that crispily browned fat...

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  10. I love pockets and I love pork. So this has got to be a WIN.

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  11. thanks everyone, glad it got some of your tastebuds going!

    darwinda: heehee i like that, stuffed pig.

    maylove: no, i haven't tried boneless pork chops--good suggestion!

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