Cider-Glazed Pork Chops with Sauteed Squash and Apples

Prep: 45 minutes

Cook: 2 hours

Serves: 4

From Andrew Carmellini, Café Boulud, New York City, New York.

Ingredients

Pork Chops

8 cups water

1 cup kosher salt

¼ cup honey

4 double-cut  pork rib chops

Glaze

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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Slice the chops or serve whole with the squash and apples.