Here is a recipe for an amazing home-cured pork chop. You can throw this baby over hot coals on a barbecue, and watch as you attract the eye-gazing attention if your excited guests. But the real bliss, is in the first bite…
2 Pork Chops (1-1/2 inch thick)
3 mugs of water,
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of salt (smoked salt is even better)
Cardamom, mace, dried chilli, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns (These are optional, but make it even more special. You can also experiment with other spices/ herbs once you master the easy process)
Lets do this…
- Get you pork chops out and leave for about 20 minutes exposed, so they can warm up. (This enhances the absorbtion of flavours).
- Add 1 mug of the water to a small saucepan, then add a couple of pieces of each spice (you could even toast these before this step for even more flavour). Bring the mixture slowly upto a simmer, then swi ch off and add the other 2 mugs of water. This should make the mix barely warm to the touch.
- Mix in the salt and sugar. Dont be afraid to crush the spices – this is good because you are encouraging flavour release.
- If the mix of water and spices is cool to the touch (you want it ever so slightly warm so the flavours can penetrate the pork easily), add all of it to a bowl, and carfeully lower the chops into the mix.
- Cover and store for upto 5 days. Leave it at least 2 days to do its magic.
Stage 2 – Cooking
- Remove the pork from the brine and discard it. Rinse the pork well under a cold tap, then pat dry between a towel, or kitchen roll – make sure it is dry.
- Leave for 30-45 minutes for it to come to room temp. At the very minimum 20 minutes. This stage is crucial for letting the final texture of the dish.
- Brush both sides with olive oil, and wack it on a barbecue over medium-hot coals. Or you can layer a pan with a thin film of oil, and cook it over medium heat.
- Turn it 3-4 times thoughout cooking. Do not burn all your hard work!
- It should take about 16-20 minutes to cook. Once cooked let it rest for 4 minutes and dig in.
You can serve this with roast potatoes, creamy mash potatoes, or even better, sweet potato fries. You could do a beefy gravy. You could do an apple sauce. Or you could just eat it as its juicy self.
- This recipe can be doubled, or tripled. Just adjust the ingredients accordingly.
- Experiment with different flavours
- Make sure you follow the temperature guidlines in the method above
For some more inspiration and amazing cooking gold. Check out the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. An enjoyable read that anyone who likes food can benefit and learn from.