Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Molasses-Brined Roast Pork Chops with Herb Butter

A few weeks ago, I brined some pork chops in a honey-based brine and was really happy with the finished dish. So here I used a molasses brine, and the outcome is just as good. Molasses is so rich, dark, and thick that its taste and texture stick to the chops after brining and throughout cooking.

A good sear on the stovetop and a quick roast in the oven turn these chops wonderfully browned on the outside and deliciously tender on the inside—an herbal, creamy butter sauce tops them off just right.

Serves 4

  • 5 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup table salt
  • 4 1-1/2-inch-thick center-rib, bone-in pork chops
  • 1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp thinly sliced basil
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Center-Cut Rib Chops
  1. Combine the water, molasses, and table salt in a large bowl, stirring well to dissolve the molasses and salt. Add the pork chops, submerging as much as possible. Cover and refrigerate 6-8 hours (or overnight), turning once.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Chops in the Brine
  1. Melt the butter and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and rosemary. Season with sea salt and pepper, cover, and set aside. Re-warm just before serving.

Herb Butter
  1. Heat a large, ovenproof (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, swirling to coat. Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry. Season both sides with sea salt (light on the salt) and black pepper. Place in the pan and sear until lightly charred on the bottom, 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the chops over and place the skillet in the oven. Roast until the meat is just cooked through, 5-6 minutes, or until done.

Seasoned, Brined Chops
Beginning to Cook

After Turning
Transfer the chops to a platter and let rest 5 minutes. Pour the buttered herb sauce overtop and serve.

Molasses-Brined Roast Pork Chops with Herb Butter