Bruce Aidells's Buttermilk Brined Pork Chops

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Recipe for Bruce Aidells's Baked Buttermilk-Brined Pork Chops. The brine helps to keep the chops moist and flavorful during the baking.

Ingredients

  • Buttermilk Brine:
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2/3 cups kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 4 T-bone or rib pork chops (each 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick and 8 to 12 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • flour for coating
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, melted lard or bacon drippings

Directions

  1. To brine the pork chops: Pour the buttermilk into a plastic storage container or stainless steel bowl and stir in the salt until completely dissolved. Add the lemon zest, rosemary, and sage. Add the pork chops, making sure they are completely immersed in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  3. Remove the chops from the brine and rinse off the buttermilk. Pat dry. Season generously with black pepper, and dredge each chop in the flour, shaking to remove the excess. Set the chops aside.
  4. In a non-stick oven proof skillet large enough to hold all the chops, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Put the chops in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until nicely browned. Turn and cook 3 minutes more. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the chops for about 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch and/or register 145° F on an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the middle of a chop.
  5. Remove the chops to a platter and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve as is or with chutney.