If you have never brined meat before I suggest that you try it. Brining consists of placing meat in a bath of salty, flavored liquid, allowing the solution to travel into the meat to equalize the salt levels. This ensures that before even hitting the heat, your meat has a higher liquid content—so when you cook it, creating a juicier end product. I love brining pork before grilling as it ensures that the pork is always tender and very moist. You usually brine leaner cuts of meat such as they have less fat which helps ensure that the meat will be moist and flavorful. Poultry breasts, pork chops, shrimp, and ribs are all excellent choices for brining. I recently bought some thick cut pork chops from a local grocery and knew that I wanted to grill them.
Although after grilling the chops were moist and very tender, I decided to serve them with a bright, herb band sauce called salsa verde. This sauce is wonderful on just about any type of grilled meat or vegetables. You need to allow at least two hours and up to four hours for brining before the chops are ready to be grilled. I served my chops with oven-roasted potatoes and a big mixed salad. When grilling pork, it is best to use a meat thermometer because the internal temperature should be 140 degrees F. to be safe.
Deborah Mele 2019
For The Brine:
- 3 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Brandy or Whiskey (Optional)
- 4 Pork Chops At Least 1-inch Thick
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Fresh Parsley Leaves
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
- 2 Tablespoons Salted Capers, Rinsed
- 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Dissolve the salt and sugar in a cup of hot water in a large shallow container.
- Add the bay leaves, pepper and whiskey if using and mix.
- Add enough ice cubes to make 1 quart of brine.
- Add the pork chops to the brine and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, turning the chops over halfway.
- While the chops are brining, make the salsa verde.
- Place the sauce ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended.
- Place the salsa verde in a small bowl.
- Preheat grill too high heat and lightly oil.
- Rub the olive oil into the chops, then grill for 4 1/2 minutes per side, or until the chops register an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
- Transfer chops to a plate, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.
- Serve the chops on a platter alongside the salsa verde.