Brined for maybe six hours. Didn't have any dry white wine - I used Sake. I had never grilled with a cast iron griddle before - but I had one in the camping box that was completely inadequate when it came to pancakes. It may never leave my grill again. Super easy brine, deliciously juicy chops...simply a superb, EASY weeknight meal.
Lemon and Thyme Grilled Pork Chops
Photo: Lisa Romerein; Styling: Dani Fisher
More From Sunset
5 Hours, 10 Minutes
Amount per serving
- Calories: 328
- Calories from fat: 53%
- Protein: 32g
- Fat: 19g
- Saturated fat: 6.2g
- Carbohydrate: 4.5g
- Fiber: 0.3g
- Sodium: 395mg
- Cholesterol: 88mg
- 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
- 1. 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.
- 2. 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.
- 3. 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.
- 4. 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.
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