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My BIG FAT Grain Free Life: Simple Pork Chops (gluten free, grain free)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Simple Pork Chops (gluten free, grain free)

I didn't really want to use this blog as a means of "therapy" or sharing anything too personal, but I think it's time to be real.

I spent many years - most of my life in fact, with a fear, phobia if you will.  A phobia of pork.  Yes, friends, admission is the first step to recovery.  The second step?  Facing your fears - i.e. chowing down on some really yummy pork chops.

After years of therapy, heart-to-hearts with my friend, "Master Chef" (see Chicken with Mushroom Wine "Cream" Sauce), and serious munching on applewood smoked bacon, I've gotten over my porkyphobia.  :@)  

In addition, a friend of mine is very good friends with a family who owns a pig farm.  She discussed regulations for raising the pigs as well as other kinda gross details I don't want to mention here, but suffice it to say, the risks of taking on new "friends" (parasites) is next to zero due to the strict regulations on pork preparation.

After tasting Roasted Leek and Mushroom Pork Chops, from The Tasty Alternative, I became a pork chop fanatic.

Here's a recipe for pork chops with my big fat twist.  I served this with a quick homemade applesauce that I made by just cooking a bunch of peeled, coarsely chopped apples with some water.  Cook covered until soft, then mash with potato masher.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Hope you enjoy!

I'm sharing this on Allergy Free Wednesday's Blog Hop.

4 pork chops, (THICK, center cut, bone in - very important)

For Brine:
1/2 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup honey
8 cups water 

Prepare Brine:  Pour salt and honey into a large bowl. Add water and stir until salt is dissolved.  Divide sliced onion, smashed garlic and bay leaves between two gallon sized zip top bags.  Place pork chops into bags and then pour brine over the top, dividing brine between the two bags.  Seal bags and place in the fridge for several hours.  (I do this step in the morning.)

When ready for dinner, preheat oven to 325F.  Remove chops from the bags and rinse well under cold running water.  Use your hands to rub the brine off of the meat.  (trust me on this)  Then pat dry.  Sprinkle with pepper.

Heat cast iron skillet (or any oven-proof skillet) to medium or medium high.  When hot, add some olive oil.  Sear chops on both sides just to brown.  

Move skillet to oven.  Remove chops when internal temp reaches 145F.  (They will continue to cook.)



At February 24, 2012 at 9:41 AM , Anonymous Michelle @ The Willing Cook said...

Ahhh, I love all things pork (probably not the best admission on my part :) ). I'm glad that you've come over to the pork side of dinner. This recipe looks great and easy. Thanks for sharing it this week at Allergy-Free Wednesdays. We hope to see you back again next week.
~Michelle, AFW Hostess

At February 24, 2012 at 10:04 PM , Blogger Amber said...

Hi There Jen,

You are so funny! I too felt that way about pork for such a long time. And I really don't eat pork that often (not nearly as often as chicken or turkey), but it's a fun change once in a while! Thanks for the link love my friend, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the dish. Isn't homemade applesauce so easy! I love your simple version. Man, that pork chop looks thick and juicy thanks to that brine!! Such a great idea, as chops tend to get so dry! YUM YUM!!


At February 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM , Blogger Jen said...

Thanks for the encouragement Amber and Michelle! I have to admit that I made this recipe this week but didn't have time for the brine. I just sprinkled salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides of the chops, seared them in olive oil in a cast iron skillet and cooked the rest of the way the recipe says to (pulling them out when they register 145F). They were still really juicy and tender. So, maybe the brine isn't the key....?


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