Monday, April 1, 2013

Citrus Brined Pork Chops with Roasted Veg

How was your Easter? We were pretty chill around the Nickel household. Being that we did not travel, the Bear and I woke up a little earlier than usual for a weekend and took a nice long walk together. We hadn't done that in a long time. Good exercise and a great time for us to catch up with each other. We realized we need to probably make it more of a weekend habit like we used to do in the past. Next, we lounged, enjoyed the lovely spring weather, and this little gem for dinner...

Super easy, super tasty. I promise you can't screw it up. Unless you burn it. I can't help you there. Brining lighter meats brings out an intense flavor that differs from marinades. Brines also keep your meat super juicy. I've been on a bit of a brining kick since we brined Sven for Thanksgiving. Try it. I think you will enjoy it!

Citrus Brined Pork Chops with Roasted Veg

For the brine & pork:
2 cups boiling water
2 cups ice water
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 onion, quartered
1 4 x 4-inch piece cheese cloth and butchers twine
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
The rind of one orange
2-4 boneless pork chops
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika

For the veg:
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 small sweet potato, chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 granny smith apple, chopped
Juice from 1/2 of the orange from the brine recipe
Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the brine: Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Remove from heat. Pour the water into a large resealable container. Add the salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the onion. Fill the cheese cloth with the bay leaf, peppercorns, sage, thyme, and orange rind. Tie the cheese cloth with the butchers twine to make a satchel. Submerge in the salt and sugar solution. Add the ice water. Add the pork chops. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove the pork chops from the brine. Dry with a paper towel. Preheat your grill to medium heat. Sprinkle the pork chops with the garlic powder and paprika. Grill on each side for 6-8 minutes on each side or until the pork reaches 145 degrees when measured with a meat thermometer.

To prepare the veg: Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add the veg. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

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