Coffee and Molasses Brined Pork Chops

Not much of a story about tonight’s dinner.  Basically there was no line at the Ault’s farm stand when I got to the market on Saturday (which almost never happens) so I decided to buy some pork chops.  Then I spent some time looking for a preparation that was easy and new to me.  Thanks Cooking Light 2004 for the help!

Brining is a terrific way to make meat moist and infuse some flavor with a minimum of effort.  This brine will likely be easier for you than it was for me.  I had to go out and buy coffee because I don’t drink it so I don’t know how to make it.  Yes, I could find a YouTube video or a Google tutorial, but then I’d have to get the coffee maker out of the basement and clean it up.  It was easier to go to Starbucks and get a cup of dark roast.  The rest was a piece of cake.  Then you get to the rub which is easy too.  Of course I left out a bunch of stuff:  no sage, no coriander, smoked paprika instead of regular.  Next time I’d leave out the salt too.  There’s plenty of salt in the brine and you just don’t need more than that.  I might add a touch more brown sugar next time too for balance.  You have to be a little careful about that because sugar burns.

I threw the chops on the grill, no wood chips, and cooked them 5 minutes on each side over medium heat.  These were the juiciest pork chops I’ve ever made.  And the flavor is fantastic.  You get a quick shot of the sharp, peppery rub with every bite followed by the pork chop with just a touch of the dark, salty flavor from the brine.  Nothing special in these instructions.  Just start with a good quality pork chop and make sure it rests before you cut into it.

Serve these with something a little neutral on the side.  The zucchini and onions was a nice accompaniment – a little sweet and a little green.  Bold on one side of the plate and soft on the other.  A lovely weeknight dinner.

Good? Very good.
Easy? Yep, but you do have to plan ahead.
Good for company? Sure.
Special shopping? Nope.

Coffee and Molasses Brined Pork Chops

Ingredients

For the brine:
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chilled strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup ice cubes
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 3/4-1 inch thick)
For the rub:
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground red pepper

Directions

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour salt mixture into a large zip-top plastic bag. Add ice and pork; seal. Refrigerate for 3 hours, turning the bag occasionally.
Remove pork from bag; discard brine. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon salt over pork. Rub 8 teaspoons Pepper-Garlic Spice Rub evenly over both sides of pork. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; grill 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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