These pork chops are tender, juicy and full of flavor. They’re brined overnight in a salt-sugar solution, which flavors them throughout and keeps the chops extremely moist. Before pan-frying, I coat them in a sweet and savory spice rub of fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, black pepper and cloves. Make sure you chose bone-in chops for the best results.
- 2-8oz, center cut, bone-in pork chops
- 4C (1 quart) room temperature water
- ¼ C kosher salt or 3T fine salt
- ¼ C granulated sugar
- 1T fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
- 1T butter (optional)
- 1In a deep container or bowl, whisk together water, salt and sugar until dissolved. Add pork chops to brine, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. If you need more water to cover the chops, make sure to keep the proportions of salt and sugar the same (1T each per cup).
- 2Remove chops from brine and allow to come to room temperature for 30-60 minutes before cooking. In a food processor or using a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes. Transfer to a small bowl and blend with remaining spices. Pat chops dry and coat evenly in spice mixture. Do not season with additional salt.
- 3Preheat a large sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan in oil. Add chops to pan and sear about 3-4 minutes on first side or until well-browned. Cook on fat side for 30-60 seconds to render fat. Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the chop registers 135°F. During the last two minutes of cooking, add butter to the pan. Baste chops in butter-oil mixture by tilting pan slightly towards you and spooning pooled fat over the chops. Transfer to plate and allow to rest about 5-8 minutes.