Monday, August 8, 2011

Molasses-Brined Pork Chops – More Similar to "The Sopranos" Than You Think

I was so happy with how my Carolina barbecue sauce experiment went, I almost forgot I'd filmed the molasses brined pork chop I slathered all that sauce on. So, I figured I better get cracking and post this before grilling season turns into hockey season.

Brining pork chops is like upgrading to premium cable, once you do it, you can’t go back to basic. You hear people say HBO wins all those awards because they have the big advantage of using the profanity and casual nudity that the network competition can't.

When it comes to brining, the F-bombs and low-cut blouses are the flavor and extra moisture that the sweet, salty solution brings. When compared to your standard grilled pork chops, these brined beauties will surely get better reviews.

Other than having to wait a few hours for all that sexy, semipermeable membrane-on-membrane action to take place, this recipe is incredibly easy. Dissolve salt and molasses in water, toss in the chops, and wait. And what do you get from such little effort? A pork chop that's seasoned from the inside out, with a firm, but very moist texture.

I brined mine for about 6 hours, but according many osmotic experts, as little as one hour per pound of pork chop is adequate. For me, that would have been about 45 minutes, but since I learned this trick from a chef that used to leave these overnight, I can’t bring myself to brine them any less.

Whether you cover these with a Carolina barbecue sauce, or some other shiny glaze, I hope you decide to upgrade to premium pork chops soon. Enjoy!

4 thick double-cut loin pork chops
For the brine:
1/2 cup kosher salt (only use 1/4 cup is using fine table salt)
1/2 cup molasses
4-5 whole cloves
1 cup boiling water to dissolve salt
7 cups cold water

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