Recipe: Brined Pork Chops with Peperoncini Tapenade
Do you know what kicks ass? Brining your meat. I definitely don’t do it often enough, but when I do I am always amazed at how much flavour gets packed into the pork I’m cooking with. I had a potluck with some friends over the weekend and decided to attempt to dazzle the hungry attendees with some beautifully cooked bone-in chops.
I served them platter-style, by thinly slicing the meat after I let it rest for a few minutes. Keep things simpler at home by serving the chops whole with a little of the tapenade (which is delicious on just about any roasted meat, by the way) on top. Dinner is served!
What you’ll need…
Brine and Chops:
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp pickling spice
3 cloves garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 bone-in pork chops
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp butter
6 peperoncini peppers (diced)
8 kalamata olives (pitted and minced)
1 clove garlic (finely grate, use a microplane if posibble)
1 lemon (zest and juice)
2 tbsp fresh parsley (finely chopped)
2 tbsp fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
To make the brine, place all ingredients except the chops in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Place the pork chops in a small, shallow baking dish and pour brine over top. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours.
In the meantime, you can quickly make the tapenade by placing all ingredients in a small bowl and mixing well with a small spoon. For a less chunky tapenade, use a food processor or blender and puree to desired level of smoothness. Set aside until you’re ready to plate.
After the pork chops have been brined, remove from baking dish and pat dry with paper towel. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Next, heat up a large pan on high heat with the canola oil. Once hot, begin to brown the chops. Once the first side is browned, about 2 minutes, flip over and add in the butter. While the chops continue to cook for the next 2 minutes, tilt the pan towards you and carefully spoon the butter/oil mixture on top of the meat.
If you’re using an oven-safe pan, then pop the pan straight into the oven and let cook for 12 minutes, or until the pork chops are a nice ‘medium rare’. If not, transfer to a baking dish to finish in the oven. Let sit, covered with tin foil for 4-5 minutes before serving.
Top each chop with generous spoonful of tapenade and enjoy!
Total cook time…6 hours, 25 minutes