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Cider Brined Pork Chops

from the kitchen of Carole Bobal

3 cups apple cider
1/4 cup salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 pounds thick chops, rib or center cuts, about 3/4-inch thick

Pour apple cider, syrup and salt into a glass bowl or quart measuring cup and stir until all the salt is completely dissolved.

Arrange pork chops in a glass or pyrex baking dish. If possible use a smallish, deep dish, so chops can still lay flat but brine will cover them. Pour brine over chops, turn them, and cover dish with saran. Refrigerate for 12 hours. If they aren't completely covered with brine, turn them occasionally. (You can also brine them in a resealable plastic bag, makes turning them easy)

Remove pork chops from brine. Discard remaining brine. Rinse chops under cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels.

Sprinkle chops with cracked pepper and broil in oven or grill over glowing coals until pork is desired doneness.

Serve with Cider Sauce if desired.

Reduced Cider Sauce
Pour one or two cups of cider into a stainless steel pan and simmer, uncovered, over medium high heat until liquid is reduced and syrupy. Brush generously over chops.

Terri's notes:
~ Chops are tender and delicious!
~ Keep an eye on the cider reduction! It simmers 'away' and turns quickly at the end, would be easy to burn.
~ Both recipes are worth the time and a quart of cider.

*Recipe adapted from John Kolar, chef-owner, Thyme2 restaurant.


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