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Molasses-Brined Pork Chops

Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 chop)
Pork chops that are even the slightest bit overdone can be dry and tough. Two tricks will help to prevent this problem: First, choose thick chops; there's less risk of overcooking. Second, brine pork chops before cooking, which makes them tender and juicy, even if you inadvertently overcook them.

Ingredients

  • Brine:
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1-inch thick)
  • Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 218
  • caloriesfromfat 38 %
  • fat 9.3 g
  • satfat 2.9 g
  • monofat 4.8 g
  • polyfat 0.7 g
  • protein 26.1 g
  • carbohydrate 6.2 g
  • fiber 0.7 g
  • cholesterol 69 mg
  • iron 1.4 mg
  • sodium 617 mg
  • calcium 43 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare brine, combine water and salt in a large bowl, stirring until salt dissolves. Add sugar, molasses, and vanilla; stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in ice. Add chops; cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove chops from brine; pat dry. Discard brine.

  2. To prepare rub, combine sage and the next 6 ingredients (sage through garlic); rub over both sides of chops. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chops in the flour. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done.