I didn’t really want to use this blog as a means of “therapy” or sharing anything too personal, but I think it’s time to be real.
I spent many years – most of my life in fact, with a fear, phobia if you will. A phobia… of pork. Yes, friends, admission is the first step to recovery. The second step? Facing your fears – i.e. chowing down on some really yummy pork chops.
After years of therapy, heart-to-hearts with my friend, “Master Chef” (see Chicken with Mushroom Wine “Cream” Sauce), and serious munching on applewood smoked bacon, I’ve completely recovered from my porkyphobia. :@)
In addition, a friend of mine is very good friends with a family who owns a pig farm. She discussed regulations for raising the pigs as well as other kinda gross details I don’t want to mention here, but suffice it to say, the risks of taking on new “friends” (parasites) is next to zero due to the strict regulations on pork preparation. Using a high-quality pastured pork is also important.
I love to brine my pork chops because brining brings moisture into the meat and helps it to stay nice and juicy. It’s easy peasy to do, as you can see in the recipe below.
Here’s a recipe for pork chops with my big fat twist. I served this with a quick homemade applesauce that I made by just cooking a bunch of peeled, coarsely chopped apples with some water. Cook covered until soft, then mash with potato masher. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve. Couldn’t be easier. Well, I guess opening a jar of applesauce IS easier, but where’s the fun in that?
I’m sharing this on Allergy Free Wednesday’s Blog Hop.
- 4 pork chops (make sure you get the thick, center cut with the bone in)
- ½ onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 4 bay leaves
- ½ cup kosher salt
- ½ cup coconut sugar or honey
- 8 cups water
- pepper, to taste (omit for strict AIP)
- coconut oil, or fat of choice
- Prepare the Brine: Pour salt and coconut sugar (or honey) into a large bowl. Add water and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Divide the sliced onion, smashed garlic and bay leaves between two gallon-sized zip-top bags. Place pork chops into bags and then divide the brine between the two bags. Seal bags and place in the fridge for several hours. (I do this step in the morning.)
- When ready for dinner, preheat oven to 325F.
- Remove chops from the bags and rinse well under cold water. Use your hands to rub the brine off of the meat, (trust me on this) then pat dry. Sprinkle with pepper.
- Heat a cast iron skillet (or any oven-proof skillet) to medium. When hot, add coconut oil. Sear chops on both sides just to brown.
- Move skillet to oven and cook until internal temperature reaches 145F.
- Remove the chops and allow to rest. (they will continue to cook)