Have you ever had that moment of picking up a magazine and wanting to make the recipe on the cover immediately? When this Bon Appetit showed up at the house I desperately wanted to make it. I also immediately thought that looks really hard and I don't know if I can pull it off. After reading the issue it sounded achievable. Bon Appetit has done this to me before, lured me in with positive talks and instructions that allude to an easy meal. I was suspect but in my goal to cook from every magazine I get this year I decided to go for it. Plus I love pork chops. I usually make them very dry so for a while I stopped making them and only ordered them at restaurants. This magazine claim that I can pan roast a pork chop like the pros had me hook line and sinker though.
I am happy to announce I think I pulled this one off nicely. I want to thank the writers at Bon Appetit that did not lead me astray this time. I have renewed faith in your instructions and my ability to follow them. My ability to follow them was admittedly most likely the problem with the other recipes and had very little to do with their ability to write a recipe. You have to agree with the photographic proof that my pork chop looks surprisingly similar to the cover of the magazine.
My smaller chops cut out some of the things suggested in the recipe. I didn't cut the meat off and sprinkle with salt. I served it as individual chops. I didn't turn the chop while it was resting because I left it tented to stay warm while I finished the side dishes. Because I was off on the cooking time it threw off the timing of my other dishes so I was too busy with those to turn my chop often.
Pan-Roasted Brined Pork Choprecipe from Bon Appetit magazine, January 2013
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon juniper berries (I didn't have these on hand and left them off)
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise, plus 2 unpeeled cloves for basting
2 large sprigs thyme
1 2" thick bone-in pork chop (2 ribs; about 1 1/4lb.) *I used two chops about 1" thick instead
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Flaky or coarse sea salt
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add kosher salt, sugar, juniper berries, peppercorns, halved head of garlic, and 1 thyme sprig; stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 5 cups of ice cubes. Stir until brine is cool. Add pork chops; cover and chill for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove chops and pat dry. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large cast-iron or other oven proof skillet. Cook chop until beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook until second side is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Keep turning chop every 2 minutes until both sides are deep golden brown, 10-12 minutes total.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast chop, turning every 2 minutes to prevent it from browning too quickly, until an instant read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of meat registers 135, about 14 minutes. (Chop will continue to cook during basting and resting)
Carefully drain fat from skillet and place over medium heat. Add butter, 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, and remaining thyme sprig; cook until butter is foamy. Carefully tip skillet and, using a large spoon, baste chop repeatedly with butter until butter is brown and smells nutty, 2-3 minutes.
Transfer pork chop to prepared rack and let rest, turning often to ensure juices are evenly distributed, for 15 minutes. Cut pork from bones, slice and sprinkle with sea salt.