Smoky Brined Pork Chops with Peaches
Pork chops prepared this way are smoky, salty, and succulent, and as such do well with the brightness of grilled peaches and this crisp fennel and corn salad for contrast. We used our Rosato Balsamic Vinegar, however, you can also substitute the Bianco Balsamic Vinegar with good results also.
Smoky Brined Pork Chops
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We brined the pork chops then grilled them over seasoned fruit wood from our old prune orchard. Always use real wood charcoal, never briquets, and please don't use lighter fluid. The pork in this recipe was adapted from our friends at Whiskey Oak Seasonings.
1 ½ quarts cold water
¼ cup salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 thick cut pork chops
2 Tbsp Lucero extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp Whiskey Oak Pork & Poultry Seasoning
2 moderately ripe freestone peaches
Lucero Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bulb fresh fennel
1 cob of corn
2 Tbsp Rosato Balsamic Vinegar
4 Tbsp Lucero Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Country Dijon Mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh Fennel & Grilled Corn Salad
Make brine by combining water, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
Whisk until dissolved.
Add pork chops and fully submerge in brine (using a small plate for weight, if necessary) for 30 to 60 minutes.
Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry.
Coat each chop with olive oil and Whiskey Oak Pork & Poultry Seasoning Mix, and allow the rub to penetrate the meat for up to 20 minutes.
Trim and core fresh fennel.
Shave fennel using thin mandoline slicer setting.
Make vinaigrette by combining oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk until emulsified. Note: you’ll need to re-emulsify when you are ready to dress the salad.
Halve, de-pit, and lightly oil peaches.
Heat grill to a high heat.
Grill pork chops to 145ºF internal temperature, then let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Husk corn, and grill with pork until lightly charred on all sides.
Shuck corn kernels and combine with shaved fennel.
Grill peach halves by placing face down on the grill, and cook until well caramelized. Turn over onto the skin side, and cook for another 3 minutes.
Dress the fennel and corn salad and serve with grilled pork and peaches.
If you like cross hatch grill marks, turn your chops 45 degrees after a few minutes, flip them over, then turn 45 degrees again. Note: We drizzled extra vinaigrette over the pork chops and brushed the peaches with a bit of extra oil for our photo--both were tasty additions. Happy cooking! - Liz & Don