Maple-Brined Pork

Dinner! Delicious, delicious dinner! I’ve never cooked pork before (bacon so doesn’t count, that’s practically another animal!), but I’m glad I tried this recipe, as it was really good and quite easy. The only hard part was finding a friend with a grill and getting our schedules aligned.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice (I didn’t even know that was a thing until this recipe – I thought allspice was a combination of a few spices)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 4 4-ounce boneless pork chops (I didn’t find boneless ones, so total mine were about a pound and a half, which was fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 ripe plums, halved and pitted
  • 2 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional, I didn’t bother)

Place the water, broth, peppercorns, allspice, garlic, bay leaf, 2 tablespoons of salt and two tablespoons of syrup in a pot. Bring to a boil; boil until salt dissolves. Cool, and then put in a large ziplock with the pork. Chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours and then drain.

Porksac.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

Sprinkle the pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Realistically, you don’t have to try too hard with the measuring, just sprinkle some on each side of the pork. Grill the pork on a rack coated with cooking spray for 3 minutes on each side, or until done. I suggest you don’t spray cooking spray on the grill rack while it’s over fire, or you’ll have a fireball. Our fire sort of died a bit, because the vents in the bottom of the grill were closed and we didn’t notice until the coals were half suffocated. Oops…

Because of that, I can’t really say if the suggested time is accurate, but ours, over the semi-dead took long enough that we ended up finishing off the fruit and one piece of pork under the broiler.

While the pork is cooking, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons syrup and the butter, and brush it onto the fruit. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoons of salt and pepper – again, don’t stress too much about precision.

Grill the fruit, cut sides down, for 3 minutes. Cut each peach and plum half in half again, and serve with the pork. Top with onions, if desired.

Didn't cut the fruit into quarters. OH NO.

I’m quite pleased with this. For whatever reason, the peaches absorb the flavor better than the plums, or maybe they just start out less strongly flavored so you notice the maple butter more? Either way, the fruit is good, the pork is good, and it’s a pretty low effort dinner. Try it out while the fruit’s still in season!

Maple-Brined Pork

From Cooking Light.

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 4 4-ounce boneless pork chops
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 ripe plums, halved and pitted
  • 2 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional)

Place first 6 ingredients, 2 tablespoons salt, and 2 tablespoons syrup in a pot. Bring to a boil; dissolve salt.

Cool, seal pork in brine in a ziplock bag. Chill 8 hours and then drain.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat, coat rack in cooking spray.

Sprinkle pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Grill pork for 3 minutes on each side, or until done.

Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons syrup and butter, brush onto fruit. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoons salt and pepper. Grill fruit, cut sides down, for 3 minutes. Cut each peach and plum half in half again, serve with pork. Top with onions, if desired.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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