Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I’ve never had good experiences with brining, until now. In the past I’ve brined whole chickens, and pork chops in bourbon-molasses brine that either separated, or caused the pork to char far too easily when cooking. I got some very nice local organic pork last week; in fact we bought a whole pig and went through with the butcher how we wanted things. In an effort to keep the pork chop as simple as possible brining came to mind, but with my past experiences I hesitated, then decided to keep going with the ‘as simple as possible’. I found my copy of “Charcuterie” by Polcyn and Ruhlman, and went from there with their basic brine recipe that went something like this:

1 gallon water to 1 cup salt and 1 tablespoon sugar

The aromatics I used consisted of rosemary, thyme, lemon, ginger, peppercorns, cloves, coriander, and cinnamon.

I cut the loin into individual chops, and then brined them for 24 hours. The chops where thick, at least 2 inches. The end product was very succulent, and juicy though out. There was a wholesome, fullness of flavor from the aromatics, but nothing was overly pungent. I instinctively salt and peppered them which was perfect for my taste, but my sidekick chef thought it was a little too much, so we held back the salt from there forward.

I would highly suggest a simple brine if you are cooking pork at home. If you get the normal thin cut chops from the grocery they would take less time to brine, 8-10 hours. Also, you wouldn’t need a full gallon of brine; 2-4 cups would be an easy batch to put together at home. Good luck, I hope your chops turn out as tasty as mine did.


Dave said...

I am suprised to hear that you would brine a delicious organic hog. I buy a lot of berkshire chops and simply season them with salt and pepper and throw them on the grill. Pork perfection!

Michael Walsh said...

Dave, understand that this is why id din't go with a complicated marinade. i was lookind for a simple way to keep the pork plumb, juicy, and flavorful, and i think this simple brine did the job.