For this Ginger Spice Brine I toasted the spices of anise, coriander, fennel, peppercorns and the bay leaves first to bring out the flavor of each and their essential oils. I then added those to some boiling water and fresh slices of ginger and let them simmer for 5 minutes. I let it cool down a little and poured this over 3 cups of ice cubes in my brining tub. When it was cool enough I added the pork loin chops to brine for 24 hours. A definitely “think ahead” recipe worth the added effort.
Brining is like a marinade in that it introduces flavor to the meat, but it’s main purpose is to keep the meat moist and tender. Brining is a way of increasing the moisture holding capacity of meat, which when it is cooked, results in a moister finished dish. I have seen a lot of brine recipes that use equal parts salt and sugar, but I find them too salty in the finished product, but thats me. Experiment and find what suits your tastes.
After 24 hours of brining take the pork loins out, rinse the brine off and pat dry with a paper towel. Discard the brine at this point, it has served it’s purpose.
Next I got my cast iron skillet smoking hot, added the butter and seared the pork loins on both sides until nice and brown. I then removed the pork from the pan and kept warm while I deglazed the pan with the apple juice. I added the 1 cup of apple juice to the pan and stepped back as the steam from introducing the liquid to the hot pan goes crazy. Let this cook down on medium heat and and become a syrup like glaze. Return the pork back to the pan turning to coat the pork in the apple glaze.
Allow the meat to rest on the cutting board for 5 minutes. You want to keep all the juices in the meat, not all over the cutting board.
Slice and plate in a fanned presentation, pour whatever apple glaze is still in the pan over the pork loin chops.
I served them with Roasted Potatoes with Prosciutto, Rosemary and Chives and a beautiful sweet and tart Apple Cranberry Chutney.
Ginger Spice Brined Pork Loin Chops
- 2 double thick boneless loin end pork chops excess fat removed
- 1 cups boiling water
- 1/4 cup Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 5- inch root fresh ginger
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp anise seeds
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns green, white, red, black
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 8 oz apple juice
- Slice the ginger root lengthwise into three or four pieces.
- In a sauté pan toast the coriander, anise, fennel, peppercorns and bay leaves.
- In a plastic container put the kosher salt, brown sugar, fresh ginger and toasted spices.
- Add the boiling water to the brine container and swirl to dissolve.
- Add ice cubes and stir to melt most of the ice.
- Add chops making sure to cover with brine. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
- In a cast iron skillet heat to almost smoking. Add butter and sear pork chops 4 minutes on each side. Remove pork loin chops from pan and and keep warm.
- Add the apple juice and reduce to almost a syrup/glaze. Add the pork loin chops back to the pan and continuously spoon apple glaze over pork turning over again. Serve immediately.