Grilled Boneless Pork Chops


I had a few pork chops in the fridge, and since it was a nice evening, I decided to fire up the grill. I was nervous about drying out the lean meat, so brined the chops, briefly, before grilling. It was wonderful: tender, pink, and flavorful. Here's what I did.

Make the brine: In a medium saucepan, mix 2 cups chicken stock with 1/4 cup Kosher salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, and 1 Tbs red wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat, pour into a medium bowl, and add ice water until the mixture cools to about 90° F.

Trim the fat and silverskin from two whole boneless pork chops. Cut each chop in two. Place in the brine in the bowl, cover, and let rest in the fridge one hour.

Heat a grill to medium-hot. Remove the chops from the brine and rinse them briefly in cold water. Pat them dry and place on the hot grill. Cook the chops, flipping once, until the internal temperature reads about 145° F. Remove to a plate and tent loosely with foil while you make the sauce.

Make the sauce: heat a skillet to medium-high. Add 1 Tbs oil, heat it until it shimmers, then add 1 Tbs chopped shallot or garlic. Cook 1 minute, then add 1/4 cup white wine and reduce about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken stock and boil hard for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is syrupy. Reduce the heat, add 2 Tbs butter, swirling to bind the sauce. Add the chops briefly to the pan to reheat them.

To serve, spoon the pan sauce over the meat and scatter a handful of chopped fresh thyme or rosemary on top. Serve with rice and sautéed vegetables. Bliss.

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