Allspice pork chops

By Roger Mooking
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Light but savoury pork chops that will be the highlight of dinner.



For the brine:

  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 15 whole allspice berries, toasted
  • 10 whole black peppercorns, toasted
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 cups water

For the pork chops:

  • 2 (285 gram) bone-in, center cut pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Freshly ground black peppercorns to taste


For the brine:

  1. In a medium saucepan, add all dry ingredients and two cups of water. Bring mixture up to a low simmer, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.
  2. Remove from heat and add remaining two cups of water. Set aside and let cool down to room temperature.

For the pork chops:

  1. In a large non-reactive bowl, add pork chops to room temperature brine. Make sure chops are completely covered - weigh down with a small plate if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours - overnight is ideal.
  2. When ready to cook, remove chops from brine and blot very dry with paper towel. Let chops come slightly up to room temperature (at the very least, remove from fridge five minutes before cooking to take the chill off, for more even cooking.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and have a small baking sheet (with a wire cooling rack if you have one) standing by.
  3. Heat a cast iron (or other oven ready) pan to medium high and add vegetable oil. Season pork chops with pepper and sear over high heat, pressing down very slightly, until lovely dark golden brown, about five minutes on one side. Flip the pork chop and place the entire pan with pork chops directly into the oven, for 10-12 minutes or until chops are cooked to desired doneness. Check with an instant read thermometer inserted sideways into the thickest part of the chop - it should read 150 F - remembering that the chop will continue to cook as it rests.
  4. Remove chops from oven and let rest at least ten minutes, tended with foil to keep warm, before slicing. To serve, slice in one centimeter pieces towards bone, leaving a nice piece remaining on the bone (that's the cook's treat!)
  5. Serve with spiced potato wedges with harissa drizzle.

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