Contender

Cider-brined Pork Chops with Apple Jelly Glaze

Print recipe
Process: Hands-On
Cooking: Pork
Preparation: Medium Cook (up to 2 hours)

Serves: 8

Eight 11⁄2-inch- thick pork rib chops,
8 to 10 ounces each


I love the combination of apples and pork so much that I immerse these thick chops in an apple cider–spiked brine for a few hours to keep them juicy, enhance their color, and start the apple avalanche.

Then, I glaze them with even more apple—sweet jelly tarted up with some lemon juice.
To add a bit of smoke, I used a bit of smoked paprika in my seasonings blend.

Ingredients

Brine
1 tablespoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 cups apple cider
2 cups water
1⁄2 cup kosher salt
1⁄2 cup honey
10 garlic cloves, peeled, halved, germ removed, and grated on a Microplane grater

Seasoning Blend
2 tablespoons mild chile powder, preferably Chimayo, Ancho, or Hatch
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
3⁄4 teaspoon dry mustard 3⁄4 teaspoon pimentón, or other smoked paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt
1⁄2 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

Glaze
1⁄2 cup apple jelly
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and grated on a Microplane grater
About 1⁄4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1⁄4 cup finely chopped chives

Techniques Used

Flip Jockey Stack
Flip Jockey Stack
Tighten With Glaze
Tighten With Glaze

Preparation

1. Place the pepper flakes in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes to rehydrate the flakes. Combine all the remaining brine ingredients in a blender or in a bowl, using an immersion/stick blender. Stir in the pepper flakes and the soaking water. Place the chops in an extra- large resealable plastic bag (or divide between two large bags). Pour over the brine, squeeze out any excess air from the bag, and close. Roll the bag to evenly coat all of the meat in the brine, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Cooking Method

2. Preheat one grate of a well- oiled charcoal or gas grill to high and another to low.

3. Combine all of the seasoning blend ingredients. Place all of the glaze ingredients in a jar with a tight- fitting lid and shake to combine. Set aside.

4. Remove the chops from the brine, letting any excess brine remain in the bag. Lightly pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the seasoning blend evenly on all sides of the chops. Using your hands or a brush, evenly, but lightly, coat with canola oil.

5. It is preferable that the chops be moved to a clean area of the grate when flipped during the initial charring. Depending on the grill size, they may need to be cooked in batches to ensure there is a clean portion of the grill to flip to. Place the chops on the high grate, and keeping the lid open, do not move the chops until they are well marked and lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip, still over high, with the lid open, and repeat on the second side, grilling for about 3 minutes. Move the chops to the low grate, and close the lid. Open the lid every few minutes, flipping, jockeying, and stacking throughout the remaining cooking time. Cook about 8 minutes for medium, about 10 minutes for medium well, and about 12 minutes for well- done. The chops will continue to cook as they are glazed. Give the glaze a quick shake to reincorporate any ingredients that may have settled. Brush with the glaze on the first side, flip, and brush on the second side.

6. Remove the chops from the heat and let rest for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

© 2009 APL Creative Inc from Serious Barbecue

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