Saturday, March 6, 2010

An Attempt at Brining

It seems to be the 'thing' to do; brining. I have read on many blogs about everyone's success and wonderful-ness of brining, so I decided to take it on, albeit in a small package. Pork chops are my least favorite pork product. My husband loves them, but they are always dried out and blah.

When we got home from work on Thursday morning, I set myself to brining. Being lazy, I didn't turn on the computer to research the brining 'recipe' as I knew I would be sucked into two hours on the 'puter and wouldn't get any sleep. I remember that people were putting in equal amounts of salt and sugar, and some water, wine, etc. Since I was only fixing 2 pork chops (Drama Queen won't eat them) I started small.

Brined Pork Chops

2 bone in pork chops
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup cran apple juice
4 shakes Worcestershire sauce

Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water in a gallon plastic food storage bag. Add the juice and sauce. Break up the herbs and put in mixture. Place chops in baggie and remove air. Squish the pork chops around in the mixture and then lay out flat so marinade is covering them. Place on a high sided dish so they lay flat and will catch marinade if bag has a hole in it. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Rinse off chops; pat dry. Sprinkle each side with pork seasoning and some paprika. Put into a scorching hot pan to sear. Turn heat to med-high and sear about 4 minutes. Flip and sear another 4-5 minutes. Check with instant read thermometer to make sure the temp is 165 degrees. Remove to a platter and tent to keep warm. Temp will come up the 5 degrees while resting. I actually removed mine at 155 because I had to reheat them at work. I made some fried, diced potatoes to go with the chops.

Delicious! Oh my goodness, they were so tender and flavorful! I'm a believer, I am.

I am trying to get some stuff made this weekend as I am waiting for a call back from the Orthopedic surgeon. I have been dealing with Lateral Epicondellitis (Tennis Elbow) for about 11 months. I have done two stints of Occupational Therapy with no relief. I have been on Light duty for 10 weeks and my co-workers pretty much hate me. We are waiting on confirmation from Worker's comp that I can have an MRI to check it out. He said it is one of three things:
1) No tear, but inflamed
2) Small tear
3) Large tear

For #1 and 2 they will pretty much give me cortisone shots and put my arm in a sling and I can't use it at all for 3 weeks. For number 3, I would have to have surgery, be casted for 3 weeks and then slinged for another 3, again not using it at all.

Needless to say, I won't be cooking (or scrapping, and little else) for awhile. I figure if I have a few things in the computer, I will be able to hunt and peck with my right hand to do a couple quick posts.

Who wants to run away? Anyone? Apparently my hubby. He said the other day that he wants to sell everything we own, buy a 50 foot sailboat and just cruise the oceans, go from port to port and find the bars, and sail nekked. I just keep smiling and nodding at him. I even played along while we looked up sailboats for sale on the Internet, all the while interjecting that even with selling all the cars, the house, the toys-I don't know that we could live for 20 years until we can get Social Security and our 401(k)'s. His answer? We will do fishing tours, snorkeling tours, booze cruises out of southern ports. Oh, did I tell you? Neither one of us know how to sail-at all. He said we could get "Sailing for Dummies" and read up on it. Plus the big sailboats have power winches so I won't have to unroll the sails and rigger them. I totally made that up, but I know I have heard 'rigger' about sailing.

Smile and nod, just smile and nod.....


Bob said...

Heh, usually when "attempt" is in the title it implies failure, I'm glad brining worked out for you! There is nothing like it. :D

Good luck with your elbow. When I hurt my back years ago I was put on light duty for a couple months. I hated it. Between not being able to do anything and my coworkers being pissed at me for it the whole thing was a nightmare.

Pam said...

Could your husband be having a mid life crisis? Sailing around the world would be pretty fabulous though!

The pork chops look and sound amazing - I am a believer in brining too.

Leslie said...

I brine just about all of my meats. I actually have a whole chicken in my brine right now getting ready to go on the smoker! yum

A Year on the Grill said...

Brining is a secret among pro cooks... really does add a ton!

As to the sailing... you need to visit in St Thomas... Lots of boats available, and lots of people making a living working one or two days a week and sailing for themselves the other 5.

Shhhh... if you don't tell hubby, I won't

Alea said...

I have the hardest time getting my pork chops to come out tender, so I will try brining them.

I do a lot of nodding when my husband comes up with "brilliant ideas". Except for the time he came home from his flight physical and informed me that the flight surgeon had convinced him to apply for medical school... Well actually I did nod, but he probably only noticed the fact that I was crying hysterically trying to figure out how we were going to put my our kids through college while my husband pursued his latest dream. Fortunately, he was offered his "dream job" before he could apply to medical school...

HoneyB said...

I'm glad it turned out so well for you!

buffalodick said...

I've been brining for years... It does work, but I tend to use the process on larger pieces of meat and poultry..

Debbie said...

I have never done any brining but it does sound like it enhances the flavor of the chops. I'm with your husband - sometimes getting away from it all sounds great...

Hungry Dog said...

I love pork chops, and brining is a great idea. Glad it worked out for you! I like the sailing idea, although you would have to learn how to do it before making a go of it...

Sorry to hear about your elbow!

Debbie said...

I've always thought about brining, but never have.
I should tho, because I think of pork chops like you do.

Monica H said...

I agree with Bob, when you said "attempt" I thought I was going to read that it didn't work out, but I'm glad it did. I've never brined anything either but I might have to give it a go.

Sailing huh? That sounds like my husband but he want to RV. ha!

Lea Ann said...

Well, I'm gonna have to brine me up some pork chops. Looks like a winner.