Chili Brined Pork Chops with Cilantro Vinagrette
Craig is the official Grillmaster in our home. He calls prepping, lighting, and cooking on the grill his "man time" and he usually spends this time with a beer in hand. Anyway, Craig has been bugging me about grilling pork lately. We've grilled pretty much everything else, so it seemed about time to try this. I got some great bone in pork loin chops and decided to do a Mexican style brine with beer! I love to cook with beer, it's very underrated. With so many different types and tastes, it's a versatile ingredient that can really enhance a dish.
Brining is the process by which meat is soaked in a saltwater based mixture before cooking. It enhances flavor and tenderness while reducing cooking times. You can use a number of different things to brine. Anything from plain old saltwater to a more complex recipe will yield great results. This is a really simple brine that uses beer as a liquid base. I combined this with chilies and garlic for flavor and some acidity to help tenderize the meat. Generally, you can brine large cuts of meats for up to 24 hours. I would recommend brining these for at least 2, but as much as you can. I left mine for about 6 hours and they were juicy and tasty.
After all the time prepping and brining these chops, a crazy thunder storm rolled in just as we were about to light the grill. So I ended up cooking these in my cast iron skillet, which means I'll have to make them again so Craig can finally grill himself a pork chop.
Full recipe after the jump!
4 bone in pork loin chops
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup Mexican beer (I used Modelo Especial but Corona can work as well)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1. In a food processor, combine all brine ingredients
2. In a large freezer bag, place chops and cover with brine. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
3. Remove chops, disgard liquid
4. Grill or broil chops to desired level on doneness
5. In a food processor, combine vinaigrette ingredients
6. Serve pork chops drizzled with 1 tbsp vinaigrette