• Cider Brined Pork Chops

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    • 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


    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Begin to prepare the sauce. Soak the dry berries in the brandy for 30 min. Drain, reserving the fruit and brandy separately.
    4. 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.
    5. Put the pan back on medium-high heat. Deglaze with the reserved brandy, cooking till
    6. 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.
    7. Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.
    8. Serves 4.

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