Grilled Maple-Brined Pork Chops
- ACTIVE: 20 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HR plus 8 hr for brining
- SERVINGS: 6
Melissa Kelly, the chef and owner of Primo in Rockland, Maine, raises her own Tamworth pigs. She uses a sweet and tangy maple-syrup and cider-vinegar brine to enhance the natural juiciness of the meat.
- 2 quarts water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 whole clove
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 whole allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
- 6 double-cut, bone-in pork chops (about 1 pound each)
- Olive oil, for brushing
- In a large pot, combine the water, salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, clove, bay leaves, allspice berries, mustard seeds, sage and pepper. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Let the brine cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 hour. Add the pork chops to the brine and refrigerate for 7 to 8 hours, turning the chops after 4 hours. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry.
- Light a grill. Lightly brush both sides of the chops with olive oil and grill over a medium-hot fire, for 18 minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 155°. Transfer to plates and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
A creamy Chardonnay with hints of fruit and oak or a spicy and slightly sweet Gewürztraminer.