Friday, March 20, 2015

Pork Chops au Poivre

It never ceases to amaze me just how delicious a simple pork chop can be.  It also amazes me at how quickly a pork chop dinner can go from oven to table.  The secret (as I have told you again and again) is brining.  It makes all of the difference when cooking any type of pork.  So while this dish does involve planning ahead, it is simple enough to make up a batch of brine before retiring for the night, putting the pork chops into the brine, and then forgetting about them until it’s time to make dinner the following day.  One thing to always remember when brining is to RINSE and pat the chops dry after removing them from the brine.  Trust me when I tell you that if you don’t rinse, you will live to regret it (and be drinking glass after glass of water for the next 6-8 hours), don’t ask me how I know.

This recipe is amazingly easy.  I have made it with sherry, brandy, and even scotch in a pinch.  It turns out marvelously every time.  I serve them with roasted baby potatoes and a side salad.  Delish!

Pork Chops au Poivre

2 (1/2-inch-thick) boneless pork chops
1 recipe brine (see below)
Coarsely ground fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup medium-dry Sherry
1/3 cup heavy cream

Remove chops from the brine, rinse, and pat dry.  Sprinkle both sides evenly with coarsely ground black pepper, pressing to adhere.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook chops for three minutes on one side, turn over, and cook an additional three minutes, until browned and just cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Add Sherry to skillet and bring to a rapid boil, scraping up any brown bits.  Cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add cream and any meat juices accumulated on plate, then boil, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Return chops to pan, cover, and let simmer for 2 more minutes to heat through.

Serve with sauce spooned over the top.

Pork Brine Recipe:

1/4 cup coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 cups ice water

Put salt and sugar into a two-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup (or other microwave-safe cup) and add 1 cup of water.  Microwave for 3 minutes until the water comes to a rolling boil and the sugar and salt is completely dissolved.  This may take more or less time depending upon the wattage of your microwave oven.  Allow this mixture to cool for about 20 minutes.  Pour this mixture into a loaf pan and add three cups of ice water.  Stir to blend.  Once all of the ice has melted submerge the pork chops.  Cover the loaf pan with plastic and place chops in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours, or up to 24 hours. I brine mine overnight.

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Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

I love pork chops and have them quite frequently. This really sounds so good. I will have to try it.
Thanks so much for the recipe. Have great weekend and Happy Spring.

Ivy, Phyllis and Me! said...

Good Afternoon Pattie, Do you know I have never brined pork..... this is completely new to me. We enjoy pork chops and the next time I make them, I am going to follow your recipe... and of course, remembering to rinse the brine from the pork chops.
Have a lovely weekend.
Best Wishes

NewMrsAdventures said...

What a beautiful dish! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!