SKILLET PORK CHOPS WITH APPLES
2 cups (500 ml) boiling hot water
¼ cup (60 ml) kosher salt
¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) ice cold water
4 x 8 oz (250 g) pork chops, 1-in thick
1 tbsp (15 ml) grapeseed oil, plus extra as needed
6 shallots, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp (30 ml) Dijon mustard
1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
1 tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only, chopped
4 sprigs thyme, leaves only
2 apples, cored, sliced ¼-in (0.5 cm) thick
salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large heatproof bowl or container, dissolve salt and sugar in 2 cups (500 ml) boiling hot water, then add 2 cups (500 ml) cold water to make a brining liquid. Once liquid reaches room temperature, add pork chops and store in refrigerator for 1½ to 2 hours. Remove pork from brining liquid and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
- In a cast iron skillet over high heat, heat oil. Sear pork chops for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside. Reduce heat to medium-high, then place shallots, flat side down, in same skillet for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly brown. Remove pork and shallots from skillet and set aside.
- If skillet is dry, add another 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil. (This may not be necessary, depending on how much fat was rendered off pork chops.) Sauté garlic over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes then stir in Dijon, chicken stock and vinegar. Reduce for 2 to 3 minutes then add herbs. Return pork and shallots to skillet and nestle apples between pork chops.
- Place skillet in oven and roast until pork chops have reached an internal temperature of 145 F (63 C) to 155 F (68 C), about 8 to 10 minutes.
- To serve, top pork chops with apple, shallots and sauce from pan.