Grilled Brined Pork Chops with Caper and Parsley Salsa Verde

Pondering a perfect pork chop. 

To brine or not to brine?  The answer is simple… yes. The better question is why wouldn’t you brine? And lastly the question that many of you are asking, “Huh? what’s a brine, and why should I use one…and on what?”.  In the most basic form a brine is wet marinade used on meat, pork, and poultry.  Why would you use one? – Well if you crave- juicy, moist, flavor packed food then an easy brine will be your new best friend. A brine is typically a mix of sugar, salt, water, and herbs or spices.  The liquid acts as a tenderizer and begins to break down the cellular structure of meats.  The salty /sweet PH balance of the liquid pushes in and out of the meat bringing with it the flavoring of the herbs and spices.
With a brine you can turn ordinary pork on the grill into succulent, finger licking, suck on the bone -chops that will have you asking “where have you been all my life”? – to the brine that is. I brined these chops for about 4 hours, brought them to room temperature drizzled them with olive oil and tossed them on a hot  grill.  I can’t say they had a distinct flavor of anything different than savory sweet delicious pork but they were just  dressed up chops, glamorized and at their absolute best.  Bathed in the tangy, fresh salsa verde they were the star of the meal.   With each bite I got a little taste of the briny capers and fruity olive oil- AMAZING! I also made fresh vegetable skewers with some boiler potatoes on the grill.  They also came to life and joined the party with a light splash of the salsa verde.  I know summer is almost over but if you have the chance, brine some pork chops and head for the grill and don’t forget to bring the bowl of salsa verde to the table, you won’t be able to resist slathering it on.

Pork Chop Brine
8 cups water
1/2 cup kosher salt
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
5 sprigs of thyme
5 sprigs of rosemary
In a small sauce pot bring 4 cups of water to a low simmer with remaining ingredients
Remove from heat and add in 4 additional cups of cold water- cool
Submerge pork chops into brining liquid and cover for 4-6 hours
Remove pork chops from brining liquid and pat dry with paper towels
Preheat grill
Drizzle pork chops with olive oil before grilling
*Do not season pork chops with any salt because of the salt in the brining liquid
Grill over indirect heat for approximately 6-8 minutes per side
Allow to rest 5 minutes
Serve Warm with Salsa Verde

Caper and Parsley Salsa Verde
¾ cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup packed fresh Italian flat leaf parsley- chopped
¼ cup drained capers- chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flake
1 clove of fresh garlic-minced
Combine all ingredients- mix well
The salsa will taste better and better the longer it sits and the flavors have time to blend

9 comments… add one
  • The Training Table August 26, 2010, 12:34 pm

    It's funny how when you first notice something, you then start to see it everywhere you go, leading you to believe that it's something new, even if it's been around forever. That's where I am with brine. All of a sudden, there are tons of turkey, pork, or you name it brine packs on the grocery shelf. But as you show here, it's all do-it-yourself stuff. No reason to spend a fortune on a package of salts and seasonings that you can whip together on your own. Thanks and cheers!

  • Bigmista August 26, 2010, 3:52 pm

    Brines are great for poultry also! I use them on my chicken!

  • Renee Fontes August 26, 2010, 7:46 pm

    Long ago when pigs were raised on table scraps and allowed to get fat…pork was moist and tender naturally. Today's pork is leaner and if you don't brine, flat flavored and dry.

    Your picture and recipe are perfect as usual,Louise,"bone"appetite!

  • Mary August 30, 2010, 4:55 am

    I love this recipe. I always brine pork and chicken. I think it vastly improves the flavor of these meats. I love the food you feature on your blog and try to visit often. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Mary August 31, 2010, 3:41 pm

    Just popped back in to thank you for your visit to my blog. I hope you'll stop by often. Blessings…Mary

  • Priscilla - She's Cookin' August 31, 2010, 6:43 pm

    Now I know what to make for dinner! Haven't had pork chops in awhile and these look delicious – love the caper & parsley verde!

  • Meredith September 1, 2010, 6:04 am

    Oh my gosh, this look delicious! And so beautiful! Your photographs are gorgeous.
    I've recently launched my own blog, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think 🙂
    Thanks, and Happy Cooking!!!

  • Peter September 1, 2010, 11:53 pm

    Just finished eating this and it was absolutley delicious! Just discovered your blog via Food Porn Daily. It all looks so good. I would eat everything you make.

    One small question/correction, the brine lists "½ packed brown sugar". I'm assuming it is 1/2 cup judging from how brown the brine is. That's what I used and it was great.

  • Louise September 2, 2010, 12:22 am

    Thanks Peter, fixed it… I ate the salsa verde the rest of the week on pretty much everything~

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