Cider-Glazed Pork Chops with Sauteed Squash and Apples
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
From Andrew Carmellini, Café Boulud, New York City, New York.
8 cups water
1 cup kosher salt
¼ cup honey
4 double-cut pork rib chops
2 cups freshly pressed apple cider
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
Squash and Apples
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 –inch dice
2 tablespoons hulled pumpkin seeds
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice
½ cup fresh cranberries
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice
- To prepare the pork chops, combine the water, 1 cup salt, and honey in a stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Put the pork chops in a shallow baking dish and cover with the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- To prepare the glaze, combine the cider and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for about 20 minutes, or until reduced to a thick, syrupy consistency. Stir in the cracked pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare and light a charcoal grill for direct cooking. Put 2 handfuls of apple-wood chips in a large bowl and cover with water. Remove the chops from a brine and pat dry. Bring to room temperature.
- To prepare the squash and apples, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the squash begins to brown. Add the apples and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the cranberries and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Keep warm.
- When the grill is at its hottest (when the coals are red and glowing and too hot to hold your hand over the grill for more than a couple seconds), remove the wood chips from the water and carefully put on top of the coals. Wait for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chips begin to smoke. Season the chops on both sides with sale and pepper and set on the cooking grate directly over the coals. Cook uncovered for about 4 minutes, or until browned. (If there are flare-ups, move the chops to the edge of the grate to prevent burning.) Brush the chops with the glaze, turn, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until browned. Brush with the glaze, turn, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the chops away from bone reads 140 degrees F. Transfer to a plate or cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice the chops or serve whole with the squash and apples.