Magazine article Sunset

Why Brine?

Magazine article Sunset

Why Brine?

Article excerpt

A tenderizing soak is good for more than turkeys

You might hare tried brining a turkey, but other meats benefit from a soak in a salt-sugar liquid too. Pork, for instance: Bred leaner and leaner the last few years, it tends to dry out quickly. Chops can be downright unforgiving when overcooked.

Aside from making lean meat more moist and tender, brining can also bring different flavors to the table. Here we've used an amber-ale brine for a tangy echo to a sweet onion marmalade topping. Just put the chops in the brine in the morning, then cook the onions right before dinner.

Beer-Brined Pork Chops with Onion Marmalade

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour, plus cooling time and at least 4 hours to brine

MAKES: 4 servings

NOTES: Kosher salt is available in most supermarkets. If you can't find it, substitute 3 ½ tablespoons regular salt.

4 boned center-cut pork loin chops (each about 1 in. thick and 7 oz.)

3 cups (two 12-oz. bottles) flavorful beer such as amber ale

¼ cup kosher salt (see notes)

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 red onions (about 1 ¾ lb. total), peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

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