Recipe: Spicy Butter-Basted Pork Chops

I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to try butter basting something. It is too delicious for words. Clearly not the healthiest thing you can do to a piece of meat, but I’m a firm believer of the ‘everything in moderation’ concept, so treating yourself to this once a month is A-ok.

I adapted this recipe slightly from the January issue of Bon Appetit, using smaller chops and some different spices. Looking for some sexy chops to cook up? If you’re in Calgary, look no further than local pork supplier, Spragg’s, located in the Calgary and Kingsland Farmers’ Markets!

What you’ll need…

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 TBSP fresh rosemary

1/2 TSP black peppercorns

1 head of garlic, halved crosswise

3 1-inch-thick bone-in pork chops

2 TBSP grapeseed or vegetable oil

3 TBSP unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic

1 ghost chili

1 TBSP dried cranberries

2 TSP lapsang souchong tea

1 TSP chili flakes


Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add kosher salt, sugar, juniper berries, peppercorns, halved head of garlic, and 1 thyme sprig; stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 5 cups ice cubes. Stir until brine is cool. Add pork chop; cover and chill for at least 5 to 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 425°. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Remove chops from brine; pat dry. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large cast-iron or other oven-proof skillet. Cook chop until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until second side is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Keep turning chop every 2 minutes until both sides are deep golden brown, 10-12 minutes total.

Transfer skillet to oven and roast chops, turning every 2 minutes to prevent it from browning too quickly, until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of meat registers 135°, about 14 minutes.

Carefully drain fat from skillet and place over medium heat. Add butter, 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, ghost chill, cranberries, tea leaves and chili flakes; cook until butter is foamy. Carefully tip skillet and, using a large spoon, baste chops repeatedly with butter until butter is brown and smells nutty, 2-3 minutes.

Transfer pork chop to prepared rack and let rest, turning often to ensure juices are evenly distributed, for 10 minutes. Serve as-is after resting or sliced with some roasted potatoes and wilted greens.

Serves 3

Total prep and cook time…6 hours, 40 min