Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Nothing Beats a Pork Chop!
It's no secret that I love bacon. I could eat bacon with my bacon. And a side of bacon. But I also love a good pork chop, a thick cut, juicy, flavorful pork chop. We usually grill pork chops, but I wanted to try something different. A Roasted Garlic Parmesan Pork Chop.
My husband is a big fan of brines. What is a brine, you ask? A brine is a salty water solution used for soaking meats in for awhile to make them become very juicy. It also eliminates a need for a lot of salt or other seasonings on the meat. He brines whole turkeys for like two days, and it is truly the juiciest, moistest turkey I've ever had. So, when I suggested making these pork chops, he wanted to brine them first.
Now to cook these beatifully brined chops. We didn't feel like grilling, so I wanted to sear them in a pan and then finish them off in the oven. And you can add as much or as little cheese as you want. As you can see in the picture, I went completely overboard with the cheese. But that's the way I like it. They were spectacular! The combination of roasted garlic smeared on the top of the chops with some Parmesan cheese was really awesome. And darn tasty!
ROASTED GARLIC PARMESAN PORK CHOPS
4 very thick bone-in center cut pork chops
2 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C salt
1/2 C brown sugar
1 T black pepper
1 T mustard powder
4 C ice
1 whole bulb garlic
Shredded Parmesan cheese (a lot or a little, up to you)
1 stick butter
In a pot, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, salt, brown sugar, black pepper, and mustard powder. Bring this mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat and add in the ice to cool. When the ice is melted, soak the pork chops in the brine for about two hours.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the top of the whole bulb of garlic off. Place it on a piece of foil and drizzle the exposed garlic with olive oil. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper over the top. Wrap the foil up and roast for about 30-40 minutes or until the garlic cloves are tender. Let cool. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves out of the skins and place in a small bowl. Mash them with a fork. Set aside.
Melt the stick of butter over high heat in a large skillet. Pat the chops dry with a paper towel. Sear the chops in the butter for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until well browned. Put them on a sheet pan. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Turn the chops over and spread 1/4 of the mashed garlic over the tops of each chop. Sprinkle on your desired amount of shredded Parmesan cheese and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the chops are at 145 degrees internally. Remove them from the oven and cover them with foil. Let them rest about 3-5 minutes.