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Brined & Breaded Baked Pork Chops



We don't eat red meat very often in our home. It is a rare treat for us, so when we do, I want to make sure that I prepare it in as best a way as I can.  We were having company for lunch the other day and I decided to cook some pork chops that I had bought at Costco. 



They were lovely, thick bone-in loin chops.  I had not seen chops that thick in a long time.  I think they were about 1 1/2 inches thick.  I was a bit concerned as to how I was going to cook them adequately without drying them out. 



I decided that I would try brining them.  Brining is simply a food process where meats and poultry are soaked in a salt/sugar brine for a time prior to cooking them, which not only lightly seasons them but helps to tenderise and enhance the flavour of the meat. People have been brining chickens and turkeys for years.


I created a simple brine of water, apple juice, salt and herbs.  I soaked the pork chops in this mixture, covered in the refrigerator overnight, for about 18 hours actually by the time I went to cook them.  12 hours minimum is desirable.


At the end of that time, I took them out of the brine, rinsed them off and patted them dry, discarding the brine.


I always slash the fatty edge of my chops prior to cooking them, right through the fat to the meat. This helps to prevent them from curling up as they are cooking, and makes for a much more attractive presentation.


I seasoned them all over with some garlic powder (NOT salt), a tiny bit of salt, some freshly ground black pepper,  and dried sage.  Sage and pork go very well together.


I lined a baking tray (with sides) with some heavy foil and then popped the chops onto the tray. I sprinkled each chop with some fine dry bread crumbs and dotted them with butter, then popped them into a hot oven.


I cooked them for about 15 minutes, then took them out of the oven and poured a bit of fruit juice around them in the pan. I used apple juice because that is what I had, but any fruit juice would work. I have used cranberry in the past, as well as orange and pineapple.  All work very well.


Back into the oven they went for a further half an hour.  I checked them periodically to make sure the fruit juice wasn't cooking dry.  The juice helps to keep them moist as well as adding additional flavour and helps to increase their tenderness even more. 



This is a trick I learnt from one of my mother's old meat cookery books that she bought back in the 1950's when she first got married. It works, and is delicious.


The end result was perfectly cooked chops, that were indeed very tender, moist and delicious!  They went down a real treat! I had actually cooked 6 at the time, and what you are seeing here is the two leftover ones gently reheated the day after.  Still succulent, tender and delicious.

Yield: 4

Brined & Breaded Baked Pork Chops

prep time: 12 hourcook time: 45 minstotal time: 12 hours and 45 mins
I recently bought some really thick chops at Costco and wanted to cook them in such a way as I did not dry them out.  I decided to brine them first. It worked like a charm. We had delicious tender and flavourful chops!   Plan ahead as the chops need to brine overnight.

ingredients:

For the Brine:
3 TBS non-iodised salt
2 cups water
2 cups apple juice
1 TBS mixed herbs

For the chops:
4 bone in thick pork chops
salt, pepper, dried sage and garlic powder
2 TBS fine dry bread crumbs per chop
butter to dot
apple juice (other fruit juices also work well,  like pineapple, cranberry or orange)

instructions:


Heat the water and salt until the salt dissolves. 
Stir in the apple juice and mixed herbs. (I used a mix of sage, parsley,
 and summer savoury)  Once the mixture is room temperature, put it into a
 plastic container large enough to hold the chops in a single layer,
with a lid.  Put in the chops, cover and refrigerate overnight or for at
 least 12 hours.

When you are ready to
cook the chops take them out of the brine, rinse them off and pat dry.
Slash the fatty edge at 1/2 inch intervals.  This helps to keep them
from curling up when they are cooking. Season each all over with salt,
pepper, dried sage and garlic powder.

Preheat
the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Line a baking tray with sides with
 heavy duty aluminium foil. (Do NOT skip this. It saves on cleanup after.)
 Place the seasoned chops on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Top
each with 2 TBS fine dry bread crumbs. Dot with butter.  Bake for about
15 minutes.  Remove from the oven. Pour a quantity of fruit juice around
 the chops and return to the oven. (about 1/4 inch in depth) Bake for a
further 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and the juices run clear. 
Check periodically to see that the apple juice doesn't run dry, topping
it up as needed.  Serve hot with your favourite side dishes and
vegetables.
Note - Cook time depends on the thickness of your chops. Mine were about 1 1/2 inch thick.  A thinner chop would not need as much time to cook, so judge according.  Bone in chops work best.
Created using The Recipes Generator



Brined Pork Chops
I served these with a variety of vegetables . . .  frozen peas  mixed with corn, cauliflower cheese, and a carrot and swede mash.  Of course we had applesauce with them.  Pork Chops and applesauce are a marriage made in heaven!  Bon Appetit!


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Marie Rayner
4 Comments
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4 comments:

  1. I love apple sauce w/ my prok chops...since I am little..even rotisserie chicken:) looks Good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pork Chops and Apple Sauce, always makes me think of the Brady Bunch and Bobby Brady saying that phrase sounding like Humphrey Bogart! I have never tried it with rotisserie chicken, now I am going to! xo

      Delete
  2. I have lived all my life in the two states that raise the most pigs; Iowa and North Carolina. I have NEVER had really tender pork chops! Is it my cooking or the quality of meat?
    I will trying this delicious sounding method soon. Thank you so much for inventing and posting this. Colleen in North Carolina, USA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two,things to keep in mind Colleen, is to make sure that you do bone in chops, old fashioned cut if you can get it,,which have a medallion of loin meat along with some spare rib. Over cooking is the natural enemy of pork today, which is much leaner than in days gone by. With the combination of brining, oven braising in something acidic like fruit juice and dotting with butter to replace a bit of the fat lost in today’s leaner meat is the key! My mother’s pork chops were like boomerangs! Lol you could have shingles your roof with them! Today’s pork doesn’t have the same fears of trichinosis attached that there was waynback when. Just until the jlast ices run clear is sufficient! Let me know,if this works for you! Xo

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