from Cooks Illustrated Online, September 1999
This is a very similiar cooking technique to AB's Pan-Seared Rib Eye; the result is a crispy, caramelized pork chop that is tender and juicy. Roroc and I like to make these for breakfast and serve them with homemade applesauce on Sunday mornings.
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/4 cup kosher salt
4 bone-in rib loin pork chops (12-ounces each), 1 1/2-inches-thick
2 tablespoons canola oil
In a gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag, dissolve sugar and salt in room-temperature water. Add pork chops and then seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible; refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, but not more than 1 hour. Remove chops from brine, and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
When oven is hot, heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet (I prefer my enameled cast iron Le Creuset) over medium high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Place chops in skillet; cook until well-browned and nice crust has formed on surface, about 3-4 minutes (there is no need to salt and pepper the chops as the brine will sufficiently season the meat). Turn chops over with tongs; cook until well-browned and a nice crust has formed on second side, about 3-4 minutes longer.
Turn the chops over again and transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Roast 4-5 minutes, and turn the chops. Roast 4-5 more minutes and remove from the oven.
On a platter or a plate with a small plate turned upside down in the center, transfer the chops and lay them at an angle so that the juice will run off; cover loosely with foil (be sure not to wrap foil tightly around meat), and let rest about 5 minutes. (Check internal temperature; it should register at least 145 degrees).
Serve on warmed plates and enjoy!
Note: If the chops aren’t being cooked immediately after brining, simply wipe off the excess brine, place the them on a wire rack set on top of a rimmed sheet pan, and keep them in the refrigerator, uncovered, to air dry for up to 3 hours.
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