Grilled pork chops benefit dramatically from a hard cider brine that penetrates right to the middle of the meat and an apple-brandy glaze that coats the outside of the pork with a tangy sweetness.
1 1/2 cups hard apple cider
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 center-cut pork loin chops, each about 12 ounces and 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed of excess fat
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons apple jelly
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Calvados or applejack (apple brandy)
4 Granny Smith apples, each cut into 6 wedges and cores removed
How to Make It
In a large bowl mix the brine ingredients. Put the chops in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the brine. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Place the bag in a bowl or a rimmed dish and refrigerate for 1 to 1½ hours, turning the bag every 30 minutes.
Remove the chops from the bag and discard the brine. Rinse the chops under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly brush or spray the chops with oil and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the jelly and butter, stirring until the jelly melts. Remove from the heat and stir in the Calvados. If the glaze cools, reheat gently until fluid. Set aside half of the glaze to serve as a sauce with the grilled pork. Brush the remaining glaze all over the apple slices and then the chops.
Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the chops over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until they are slightly pink in the center, about 10 minutes, turning once. Remove the chops from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. While they rest, grill the apples over direct medium heat until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, turning once. Serve the chops and apples warm with the reserved glaze.
Weber's Way to Grill
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