Cider Brined Pork with Roasted Onions and Potatoes
Every fall I buy a bottle of Applejack as my way of welcoming in the season. Last weekend I not only bought the requisite bottle of booze, somehow I also ended up buying three half-gallon containers of different apple ciders. I just couldn’t help myself. Every store I went to seemed to have cider for sale and I am (clearly) incapable of refusing it. Even though I knew I had a full gallon waiting at home, I still bought a final jug as a reward for surviving the Haunted Corn Maze on Saturday night.
Side note: If you want to know what type of person you are deep inside, go through a Haunted Corn Maze in the dark. I discovered I am the type of person who will sacrifice their friends in order to get away from the guy with a chain saw. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth.
At any rate, a fridge full of cider is never a bad thing. In fact it allowed me to make this beautiful dish which was a delicious way to fully embrace autumn’s arrival. Since cider is unavoidable this time of year, it only seems right to also use it in a brine.
This particular recipe is the October cover recipe for Bon Appetite and I’ve been staring at it for a few weeks waiting for a good night to make it. Maybe all that cider was getting to me — I just couldn’t hold out any longer.
Pork chops do not need to be special occasion. I know this. I have been eating pork chops with applesauce since I was a kid. Yet I was intrigued when I saw a recipe in Bon Appetit last July called Father’s Day Pork Chops. If I had known they would turn out this beautiful, I would have been making them all winter long. The story in the magazine did not do these things justice.
I guess the reason I hadn’t made these yet is that I rarely think to buy pork chops. I swing more in the easy direction of pork tenderloins. But my boss had bought a few sample loins from a farm nearby and had them cut into chops so we were all able to take a couple home. They was a mad dash to the cooler and out we walked with two fat, 12 oz bone-in chops in our hands.
My co-workers were full of talk about how they were going to prepare theirs, but I didn’t have any good ideas, figuring I’d dig through my binder of recipes at home. Two recipes caught my eye as I flipped through the pages looking for anything mentioning pork chops. I studied the first one, Roasted Pork Chops with Lemon, with interest and then confusion. I’m sure it’s delicious but it was literally roasted pork chops served with lemon wedges. I have no idea how that rated good enough to keep. Maybe there’s a recipe for a chocolate coconut pie on the other side of the page?
The second recipe was for the Father’s Day Pork Chop. And even though it seemed decadent and not-at-all healthy, it beckoned me to give it a shot. After all, a fried pork chop would be a nice treat for my husband to find when he came home from work. A night off from chicken — wooo!