Have we discussed how amazing brining is? You mix some water and seasonings and salt together the night before, dump them in a bag with the meat, then go to bed. The next day, when you walk in the door after sitting in a horrific hour plus of traffic because someone got pulled over and didn’t bother moving to the shoulder of the road, and everyone stopped to look, all you have to do is toss the meat in a pan. The result is juicy, tender, well seasoned meat.
Adding to my list of delightfully brined meats is this orange and rosemary brined pork chop recipe from Martha Stewart. It’s so good, and so easy.
If you wanted to continue merrily down a path of ease, buy some applesauce from the store and serve it with the pork chops. If, however, you’ve whimsically purchased a four pound bag of apples because you were lured by the Idea of Fall, you should make Martha Stewart’s Pink Applesauce. I chose a cozy Sunday evening for the applesauce cooking project, because a Tuesday is no night to make homemade applesauce.
This applesauce is delicious and fallish. And it’s PINK. The best part of the pink applesauce is that the pink color is created through sheer laziness. You do not have to peel a single apple, the peels are what give the applesauce that great pink color. I cut the cores out of my apples and tossed them into a pot, then just let them cook for about 45 minutes. Not being in possession of a food mill, I pressed the results through a strainer, which didn’t take very long at all.
So, yay, this applesauce is GREAT and you should definitely make it. It’s fairly quick and hands off. You can use any kind of apple and flavor it in different ways to suit your taste. My apples were a bit sour and I had only a wee bit of lemon juice, so I skipped most of the lemon juice. The applesauce is good all on it’s own, or served with the amazing brined pork chops above.
Has anyone tried brining meat before? Or making applesauce?
Orange and Rosemary Brined Pork Chops with Pink Applesauce
- I did not use bone in pork chops, because I had regular pork chops in the freezer.
- I used whatever variety of apple came in the four pound bag from Trader Joes, and one Gala apple from when I made a poor decision to get the apple instead of the baguette at Panera.
- The magazine suggested adding cinnamon or bourbon to the applesauce for flavor. I still had some honey bourbon from my caramels, so I splashed some in. It didn’t make any difference whatsoever. Stick to cinnamon, save your bourbon.
- I would never buy parsley for the sole purpose of decorating my pork chops. I did have some languishing in the refrigerator, so it made an appearance in the pictures. You can 100 percent skip the parsley.
- The potatoes on the side were two potatoes, diced very small, and pan fried in olive oil with an onion, garlic, and rosemary until crispy.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 8 1-by-3-inch strips orange zest
- 16 whole black peppercorns
- 3 small sprigs rosemary
- 4 bone-in pork rib chops (each about 12 ounces and 1 inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for serving
- Combine sugar, salt, bay leaves, orange zest, peppercorns, rosemary, and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved. Reduce to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Pour over pork chops in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover and refrigerate, turning once, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Remove pork from brine; discard brine. Pat chops dry; let stand 15 minutes. Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add pork, working in batches, if necessary, and cook until bottoms are deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops (without touching bone) registers 138 degrees, about 3 minutes more. Let rest 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with applesauce.
Martha’s Pink Applesauce
- 4 pounds McIntosh apples, quartered and cored
- 2 pounds red apples, such as Empire or Cortland, quartered and cored
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- White Applesauce: Peel apples before cooking.
- Sweet Applesauce: Add 1/4 cup sugar to apple mixture in step 1 before cooking.
- Combine apples, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups water in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are completely soft, about 40 minutes.
- Pass apples through a medium-mesh sieve or a food mill fitted with the fine disk to remove skins. Applesauce can be stored in refrigerator up to 1 week, or in freezer up to 3 months. To can applesauce, follow these instructions.