Maple-Brined Pork Chops
From Flavorize by Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ and published by Chronicle Books
There is something really special about the combination of grilled pork and maple syrup, and these are a great example. I think the chops are great paired with grilled sweet corn and grilled Texas toast.
• 4 bone-in pork chops, about 3/4 in (2 cm) thick
• 1 recipe cold Maple Brine (see recipe below)
• 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Place the chops in a large heavy-duty zip-top bag. Pour the brine over them. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Place the bag in a pan or bowl in case of leakage and refrigerate it for 3 to 4 hours, occasionally moving the chops around within the bag. Prepare an outdoor grill to cook direct over medium heat. Remove the chops from the brine and rinse them under cold water. Dry the chops well. Place them on the grill and cook them for 5 to 6 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Flip them over and cook them for another 5 to 6 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 150°F (65°C) deep in the center. Remove them to a plate and brush each chop with the maple syrup on all sides. Serve one chop to each guest.
Makes 4 servings
Maple Brine From Flavorize by Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ and published by Chronicle Books
All brines need a sweetener to temper the salt, and maple syrup turns this one into a very special treat. Be sure to use real maple syrup. It’s a little pricey, but the true maple flavor is well worth it.
• 2 cups (480 ml) water, plus 2 cups (480 ml) ice water
• 1/2 cup (120 ml) pure maple syrup
• 1/4 cup (60 g) Morton’s Kosher Salt
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp granulated onion
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the 2 cups (480 ml) water, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, granulated onion, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix them well. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often. Cook it for 1 to 2 minutes, until the salt and syrup are dissolved. Add the ice water to a large bowl. Pour the hot brine over the ice water. With a large spoon, mix well until everything is blended. Refrigerate the brine for at least 2 hours, until well chilled. Use it immediately or keep it refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 1 qt (960 ml)