Citrus Brined Pork Chops
Rosemary Roasted Potato, Fig & Spinach Salad
Brining pork chops helps ensure they are juicy and flavorful every time. Using orange juice instead of water adds a sweet character to the chops. Be sure to plan ahead by starting the brine the day before.
Serves 6, total time:
Brined Pork Chops
- 2 quarts orange juice, cold
- ½ cup salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 6 boneless pork chops
- ¼ cup olive oil, for brushing the chops
- 1½ pounds red and/or yellow skinned potatoes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
Fig & Spinach Salad
- 12 cups baby spinach
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1 pint fresh figs, halved
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Brine Pork Chops
- In a small sauce pot mix together 1 quart of the orange juice, salt, bay leaf, fennel seed and chili flakes. Bring to a simmer and then pour mixture into a bowl large enough to fit all the juice and the pork chops.
- Add the remaining quart of cold orange juice and place the bowl in the refrigerator.
- When the juice cools to 50° or cooler add the pork chops and soak in the orange juice mixture overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss until the potatoes are well coated.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, spreading out in single layer. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning.
- Mix the pancetta and sage with the potatoes and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the pancetta is golden brown. Remove from the oven and hold warm.
- While the pancetta is browning, preheat the grill. Remove the pork chops from the orange juice, pat dry, then coat with olive oil. Grill the chops to desired temperature.
- Place the spinach in a large salad bowl. Crumble the goat cheese on the spinach salad and add the figs, salt and pepper.
- When ready to serve, pour the warm pancetta and potatoes along with the oil over the spinach salad and toss together thoroughly. Drizzle in the sherry vinegar and toss again well. Serve alongside the grilled pork chops.