2-4 chops – about 1/2 lb. each, bone-in chops are preferred
These are so amazing I’m not sure I’ll ever want to eat pork chops any other way. First, you want to brine the chops so they’ll be even more juicy and delicious.
This is your base brine solution for any meat – adjust quantities as needed.
2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt (if using regular salt, just reduce by half)
1.5 cups light brown sugar
1 clove, whole
4 allspice berries, whole
1 T mustard seeds
3-4 bay leaves
5-7 sage leaves, fresh and torn
a few grinds of pepper
Bring the water to a boil. Turn off heat and add salt and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add herbs and spices and cool down.
Once cool, add meat to the solution and put it in the fridge. I put mine in a gallon size plastic baggie and be sure to flip over about half-way through so all meat gets evenly soaked. Brining times for pork chops are listed anywhere from 12 hours to 1-2 days. Ain’t nobody got time for that, so mine sat for about 7 hours, and were just fine and tasty thank you very much.
Give your meat a good rinse off before cooking and pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat your oven to 375.
Maple Bourbon Glaze:
You’ll want to start this cooking before you throw your chops in the pan to cook, as it will take longer than they need to cook to reduce.
1 cup orange juice (I used simply juice since it has no added sugar, etc. but you can also squeeze fresh)
1/2 cup bourbon
1 cup maple syrup (use the real stuff!!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 sage leave, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 squeeze (about 1 tsp) of Dijon mustard
Bring OJ and bourbon to a boil, and cook about 5 minutes. Then add maple syrup, sugar, sage, garlic, and mustard. Bring to a boil again and then reduce to low heat. Be sure to stir frequently as the glaze thickens.
Heat up your cast iron skillet for a few minutes to med-high heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides. This should take about 2-3 minutes each side.
Turn off heat and pour 2/3 of the glaze over your chops. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until they reach 160. Meanwhile, you can further reduce the remaining glaze if it needs thickening. Pour this over chops when they are ready to eat.