Cider Brined Pork Chops
- Brine and pork:
- 2 c. apple cider
- 1 3/4 c. water
- 1/4 c. kosher salt
- 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. coarsely grnd black pepper
- 1 tsp dry sage
- 1 x cinnamon stick
- 4 x pork-loin chops (about 3/4" thick)
- 2 tsp oil Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp. dry cranberries or possibly cherries
- 1/4 c. brandy
- 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 c. apple cider
- 1/2 tsp arrowroot
- 1/4 c. fat-free half-and-half
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- To prepare the brine: Combine the apple cider and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Add in the kosher salt, brown sugar, pepper, sage and cinnamon, stirring to dissolve. Cold the brine; chill till cool.
- Put the chops into a 2 1/2- to 3-qt glass dish. Pour the cool brine over the chops, cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 12 hrs and up to 24 hrs.
- Begin to prepare the sauce. Soak the dry berries in the brandy for 30 min. Drain, reserving the fruit and brandy separately.
- Remove the chops from the brine; throw away brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a large 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the pan is warm, add in the pork chops and cook about 5 min per side or possibly till cooked through. Remove the chops from the pan and keep hot. Pour off any fat in the pan.
- Put the pan back on medium-high heat. Deglaze with the reserved brandy, cooking till
- reduced by about half. Add in the broth, cider and cranberries. Cook till reduced by half. Turn the heat to medium-low. Put the arrowroot into a measuring c. and whisk in the half-and-half and mustard. Stir several spoonfuls of the warm broth mix, one at a time, into the half-and-half to hot. Add in to the pan, stirring till lightly thickened.
- Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.
- Serves 4.
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