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    Grilled Pork Chops With Apple Cider Sauce

    Grilled Pork Chops with Apple Cider Sauce

    Serves 6

    Brining the pork chop is the most important part of this recipe. The brine adds another layer of flavor to the pork and helps to keep it juicy and tender.


    3 bay leaves
    1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
    1 clove
    1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
    3/4 tablespoon dried thyme
    1 tablespoon anise seed
    1 cup sugar
    3/4 cup salt
    1 tablespoon minced garlic

    6 pork chops (10 ounces each)

    Apple Cider Sauce (recipe follows)

    In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, grind bay leaves, peppercorns, clove, red pepper, thyme and anise seed to a fine powder.

    In a large bowl, prepare brine by mixing together 1 gallon water, the sugar and the salt. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in the herb-spice mix and the garlic. Cover the pork chops with the brine, cover the bowl with wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 hours.

    Preheat a grill. Place the pork chops on the grill and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, depending on their thickness. Keep the chops warm while you prepare the sauce.

    Apple Cider Sauce

    1 tablespoon blended oil*
    2 tablespoons minced shallots
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
    2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
    3/4 cup unfiltered apple cider
    2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    2 cups chicken stock
    salt and pepper
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
    1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

    To make the sauce, heat the oil and sauté the shallots in a saucepan over medium heat until they are translucent. Add the sage and apple slices and cook until the apples are soft and begin to brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the cider, vinegar and chicken stock, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. Puree the mixture in a blender and strain.

    To serve, heat the sauce until it just begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and pistachios.

    *Blended oil, 1 part olive oil to 3 parts canola oil, is subtle in flavor and will not overwhelm the other flavors in a dish.

    Adapted from The Girl & The Fig Cookbook (Simon & Schuster, 2004) with permission by Sondra Bernstein.

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