Brine-Cured Pork Chops


  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 5 bay leaves
  • cup fennel seeds
  • 1 cup mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano)
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 12 center-cut pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

      819 calories; 41 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 17 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 24 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 20 grams sugars; 83 grams protein; 274 milligrams cholesterol; 4973 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

6 servings


  1. Combine all the ingredients except the water, pork chops and olive oil in a large glass, ceramic or plastic container. Add the boiling water and stir to completely dissolve the sugar and salt. Stir in the cold water to cool the brine.
  2. Lay the chops out in 1 layer in a large nonreactive pan and completely cover them with the brine. If a chop floats to the surface, weigh it down with a plate. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, depending on how much flavor you want the meat to acquire. (If the chops must be stacked, change their positions in the brine often.)
  3. Heat a grill or broiler. Drain the pork chops, discarding the brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the chops with the oil and grill or broil for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Put the chops on a rack in a pan to catch the drippings and loosely cover with foil. Set aside in a warm place for 6 to 8 minutes and serve.

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