A meal that can be made entirely on the grill is what summer is all about, don’t you think? Except for the salsa, which comes together in minutes, this delicious meal – which is also satisfying and well-balanced nutritionally – can be cooked on the grill – eliminating all but one pan. The one used for brining – the secret to moist pork chops every time.
I know a lot of people who think they don’t like pork chops because they were subjected to dry, gray, over-cooked chops as a child. If you have ever wondered why pork chops served in restaurants are so moist, juicy and tender, more than likely it’s because they brine them. A brine is a mixture of water, salt, sugar, herbs and spices and soaking your chops for a few hours allows the liquid to act as a tenderizer while the herbs and spices impart a subtle flavor to the meat. Brining pork chops, turns an ordinary chop into a succulent, finger-lickin’ good, gnaw on the bone chop – try this recipe from Chef Louise Mellor and brining will become your new best friend!
You do have to plan in advance since the pork chops should marinate for about 4 hours, but the rest of dinner comes together quickly – only other requirement is the grill master of the house.
- 4 - 1/2 inch thick bone-in pork chops
- 8 cups water*
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 5 sprigs of rosemary
- ¾ cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup packed fresh Italian flat leaf parsley- chopped
- ¼ cup drained capers- chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flake
- 1 clove of fresh garlic-minced
- Combine all ingredients- mix well. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.
In a medium sauce pot bring 4 cups of water to a low simmer with remaining ingredients. Remove from heat and add in 4 additional cups of cold water to cool the mixture. *I had only 3 thick sirloin chops so used a 3/3 ratio of water.
Submerge pork chops into brining liquid, cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Prepare the Salsa Verde so that the flavors can meld a few hours, too.
Remove pork chops from brining liquid and pat dry with paper towels. Allow the chops to come to room temperature before grilling. Do not season with salt because the chops have absorbed salt from the brining liquid.
Preheat grill to medium high heat. Drizzle pork chops with olive oil before grilling. Grill over indirect heat for approximately 6-8 minutes per side.
Allow to rest 5 minutes. Serve warm with Salsa Verde drizzled on top. Shown served with grilled Japanese eggplant, zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Drizzled with the salsa verde and then grilled, the vegetables were simply superb!
Here's my no-fuss method of grilling veggies: make a tray using heavy duty aluminum foil with the edges folded to form a rim. Slide the tray onto the grill using a rimless cookie sheet. I have a basket for grilling small items but with this method you have nothing to wash!