Monday, July 25, 2011

Baked Herby Pork Chops

This pork chop was juicy-licious. I think it was just about the juiciest pork chop I've even cooked. The baking process must lock in the juices very well, because they were cooked through, but still very tender. I was totally nervous that they would be dry and I would be serving a dry pork chop to Mark and you know how testy he can be when his dinner tastes like a paper plate. I also like this brine because it is so easily altered. You need the water, sugar, and salt. Other than that, you can add whatever you like and/or have on hand that you like. I just ate a clementine, so I threw in the peel. I also throw in spices, and onion, and some garlic cloves. They work nicely with pork, but you could substitute other spices or citrus that you have on hand. Grapefruit peels, cloves, tons of possibilities to perfume the chops. Then top them with smooth Herbs de Provence to finish off the meal. I also love putting the sliced potatoes and onions underneath. Now all I needed to make (read: open a bag of) was a side salad and the meal is complete in one dish. Yeah!
Baked Herby Pork Chops
3 pork chops
1 large baking potato
1 onion
2 tsp. Herbs de Provence
1 cup water
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 onion
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
1/2 cinnamon stick
peels from one orange
2 bay leaves

1. To keep the chops tender, make a brine for them. Put the chops in a large freezer bag.
Not to be a pest, but using Kosher salt does make a difference.
2. In a bowl, mix together all brine ingredients until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then pour this mixture into the bag and allow to brine all day or up to overnight.
3. When you are ready to bake, thinly slice the onion and potato and lay at the bottom of your casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. Herbs de Provence, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
4. Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry. Place the chops on top of the potatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence, and olive oil.
5. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until the pork chops are cooked through and the potatoes are nice and tender.
6. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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