Rosemary Lemon Brined Pork Chops


Pork chops make a regular occurrence at our dinner table. My mother-in-law is a fan of those shake-and-bake breaded pork chops but the kids aren't a big fan of it. I usually marinate the pork chops and either broil them or cook them in our cast iron skillet.

I tried something new: brining my pork chops. I've never brined my meat because I'm lazy and it takes a bit more planning ahead. When Holland House offered to send me their cooking wine to use in a brine, I was definitely intrigued. My husband has brined our turkey every Thanksgiving since we've been married (save the two years that the kids were born-dang November babies). Brining makes his turkey juicy and flavorful. I figured I'd give it a try with some pork chops.

Since I've never used cooking wine to make a brine, I browsed for recipes on the Holland House website and adapted the grilled rosemary chicken recipe for pork chops. The brined pork chops were a hit with everyone, adult and kids. I cooked them in my favorite skillet: cast iron. I even made a pan sauce from the drippings. It was perfect served with a side of wild rice and steamed broccoli.

Here's my tips for brining:

  • Use a plastic ziptop bag to hold the brine and your meat. It's easy to just flip the bag when you rotate or move around the contents. 
  • Place your ziptop bag inside a bowl or similar container to catch drips
  • For a good sear on your meat, pat it dry on both sides after you remove it from the brine
Happy brining!

Rosemary Lemon Brined Pork Chops

Ingredients
1 cup Holland House White Cooking Wine with Lemon Flavor
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 to 2 lbs. pork chops
Fresh lemon

Directions

In a ziptop bag, combine the cooking wine, vinegar, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, pepper, and salt. Close bag and shake or squeeze until the salt as dissolved. Add pork chops, making sure they are submerged in the brine. Refrigerat and let pork chops sit in brine for at least 8 hours, longer if you can.  About halfway through, flip the bag over to ensure good coverage in the brine.

When ready to cook, remove pork chops and discard brine. Pat pork chops dry with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in an oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is smoking, add the pork chops, careful not to crowd the pan. Brown on both sides. Remove and repeat with the remaining pork chops.

Once all the pork chops have been browned, return to pork chops to the skillet. Place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking. My pork chops were 1 1/2 inches thick and took about 30 minutes to cook.

Sauce directions: If there are drippings or juices in the skillet, you can make a pan sauce. Remove the pork chops. Heat the drippings on the stovetop. Stir in a small pat of butter (less than a tablespoon) as the sauce heats up. Cook the sauce to desired consistency and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon at the end.

Enjoy!

I received Holland House Cooking Wine to review. All opinions are my own.

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