Caribbean-Brined Pork Chops
For the brine:
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 5 cups room-temperature water, plus more,
- 6 to 8 whole allspice, lightly crushed in a
mortar with a pestle
- 6 to 8 peppercorns
- 1 serrano chili, quartered lengthwise
- 1 lime
- 4 bone-in pork loin chops, each 10 to 12 oz.
and about 1 1/4 inches thick
For the basting sauce:
- 2 Tbs. dark rum
- 2 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
- 3 or 4 drops hot-pepper sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp. canola oil
Preheat an oven to 450°F.
To make the basting sauce, in a small bowl, stir together the rum, brown sugar, lime zest and juice, hot-pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Remove the chops from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before roasting. Rinse briefly under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Brush or rub the chops on both sides with the oil.
Preheat a large, heavy ovenproof fry pan over high heat until very hot. Arrange the chops in the pan and sear for 2 minutes. Turn the chops and sear for 2 minutes on the other side. Brush with some of the basting sauce and immediately transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat, away from the bone, registers 140° to 150°F for medium-well done, about 8 minutes.
Transfer the chops to individual plates. Pour the remaining basting sauce into the fry pan, set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Boil for 1 minute, then spoon the sauce over the chops, dividing it evenly. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Roasting, by Rick Rodgers, Melanie Barnard & Bob & Colleen Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2004).