· Food For Thought
Whiskey Brined Pork Chops Recipe
Brine is a salt, water and seasoning solution used to preserve and flavour foods. Brining increases the amount of liquid inside the meat cells and helps the cells retain moisture for a juicy moist chop. don't be afraid of the amount of salt in this recipe - salt's your friend.
4 Pork chops 2 cups (500 ml) Water 1/4 cup (50 ml) Alberta Whiskey - your favourite brand 3 tbsp (45 ml) Brown sugar 3 tbsp (45 ml) Honey 1/4 cup (50 ml) Whole grain mustard 2 Sprigs fresh rosemary 1/4 cup (50 ml) Salt 1 cup (250 ml) Ice cubes
Serve with condiments from your favourite farmer's market vendor.
Assemble your ingredients
Add the whiskey. We used Alberta Premium. Didn't have any of the regular five year old so we used the 25 year old. Arguably a waste of good whisky. (Again, the things I'm willing to do for you the reader.) I'm told that Alberta Premium is one of the only whiskys available that still uses 100% rye. I don't know about that but I do know it's got a sweeter, more refined flavour than most of the Canadian whiskys out there. If you're in Ontario and can't find Alberta Premium try some from Forty Creek (www.fortycreekwhisky.com)
Add the brown sugar...
...and the minced rosemary.
Add your honey. For our recipe we used "Scandia Fields" honey which, in our opinion, is the tastiest, smoothest, yummiest, healthiest, purest, bestest honey in the land. Remember: "It's Worth the Drive to Scandia." (www.scandiahoney.com)
Add your mustard to the mix. If possible use "Brassica Mustard" made in Calgary by Karen and Desmond. We used their roasted garlic mustard which was a perfect fit for this recipe. Brassica Mustard is available at Barbecues Galore. (www.brassicamustard.com)
Add your salt. Admittedly, it seems like a lot of salt but trust us on this.
Add some ice cubes and whisk until the ice cubes are melted and the salt is dissolved into the liquid. Frankly, I have absolutely no idea what purpose the ice cubes serve but, hey, sometimes it's just easier to follow the recipe.
Put the pork in the marinade and let it rest for 8-12 hours in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge 1/2 hour before grilling so it can warm up towards room temperature before grilling.
Put the chops on the grill. Recent experience has taught me that if you get too involved in a six pack, you may burn some of the pork chops. You've been warned.
Serve with...well, whatever the hell you want really - it's your dinner. The pork chops were extremely moist and had a robust, not-overpowering salty flavour. The mustard came through nicely. The fine palates of the test kitchen couldn't pick out the whisky flavours so (again) don't spend too much on the whisky you put in this recipe.