Pork Chop, Corn and Mascarpone Macaroni and Cheese


 More Great Comfort Food Recipes

Pork Chop, Corn and Mascarpone Macaroni and Cheese
Photo: © Fredrika Stjärne



  • 10 cups water

  • ½ cup kosher salt

  • cup sugar

  • 10 thyme sprigs

  • 3 rosemary sprigs

  • 1 head garlic (halved crosswise)

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 oranges (halved crosswise)

  • 12 ounce center-cut pork chops (about 1 1/2-inches thick)


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 ¼ cups milk

  • ½ cup freshly grated extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese

  • ¼ cup mascarpone

  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Freshly grated nutmeg

  • ½ pound penne


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 8 ears white corn (kernels removed)

  • ½ cup chicken stock

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • White-truffle oil


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the water with the salt, sugar, thyme, rosemary, garlic, peppercorns and crushed red pepper. Squeeze the juice from the orange halves into the brine and add the oranges. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely. Add the pork chops and refrigerate, covered, for 12 hours.

  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour until a paste forms. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth; bring to a boil over moderately high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking often. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Cheddar, mascarpone and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and transfer to a large bowl.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente; drain. Stir the penne into the cheese sauce. Spoon the penne into four 1-cup gratin dishes and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.

  4. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the corn and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until the corn is just tender, about 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Shortly before serving, preheat the oven to 400°. Bake the macaroni and cheese for about 12 minutes, or until bubbling. Turn on the broiler and broil the macaroni and cheese for about 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Keep warm. Meanwhile, light a grill or heat a grill pan. Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry. Brush the grill with oil. Grill the chops over a medium-hot fire for 6 minutes per side, or until browned and just cooked through. Reheat the corn. Set the chops on plates, spoon the corn alongside and drizzle with truffle oil. Place a dish of macaroni and cheese on each plate and serve.

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