- 3 dried bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons peppercorns, cracked*, plus 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
- Zest of 2 lemons, divided
- 6 bone-in center-cut pork rib chops (3 1/2 lbs. total) with bones frenched* if you like
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves and small, tender sprigs
- calories 328
- caloriesfromfat 53 %
- protein 32 g
- fat 19 g
- satfat 6.2 g
- carbohydrate 4.5 g
- fiber 0.3 g
- sodium 395 mg
- cholesterol 88 mg
How to Make It
Heat 1 1/2 qts. water, the bay leaves, and peppercorns in a large pot until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in wine, salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and the zest of 1 lemon. Nest pan in a sink of ice water and let brine cool. Add pork to brine. Chill at least 4 and up to 12 hours.
Drain meat, rinse, pat dry, and set on a platter or baking sheet. In a bowl, mix oil, thyme, ground pepper, remaining 2 tsp. brown sugar, and the zest of 1 lemon. Pat mixture onto both sides of meat, pressing it in. Let meat stand at room temperature.
Heat grill to medium (350° to 450°). Heat a large cast-iron griddle, 12-in. paella pan, or 2 large cast-iron skillets on cooking grate with grill lid down until water dances when sprinkled on cooking surface, 8 to 10 minutes.
Set chops on griddle and cook with grill lid down, turning once, until meat is well browned and done the way you like, 8 to 10 minutes total for medium-rare (cut to test). Transfer to a platter.
*Crack peppercorns in a mortar, or seal in a plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin. Rib chops come from the rib end of the loin; if they aren't already frenched (some meat trimmed from the bone ends to make the chops look neater), ask a butcher to do it, or do it yourself by sliding a sharp knife along the bones.