Brown Sugar-Crusted Pork Chops

The humble pork chop get a sweet and sophisticated upgrade!
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The humble pork chop get a sweet and sophisticated upgrade!
photo courtesy Andrew McMeel Publishing


(Serves 6)


• 1 gallon water, divided

• 1 cup kosher salt

• 4 bay leaves

• 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, toasted

• 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds, toasted

• 1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns

• 1/ 2 cup fresh, loosely packed thyme

leaves, or 2 Tbsp. dried thyme

• 1 cup brown sugar

• 2 oranges, halved

• 1 large white onion,

cut into thick slices

• 4 cloves garlic, crushed

• 6 (12-ounce) porterhouse pork chops


• 1/4 cup brown sugar

• 2 tsp. kosher salt

• 1 Tbsp. ground black pepper

• 1 Tbsp. paprika

• 1 Tbsp. chili powder

• 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds,

toasted and ground

• 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds, toasted

and ground


To make the brine, bring 4 cups of the water to a simmer in a large, deep pot, and add the salt, bay leaves, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper, thyme, and sugar. Whisk and simmer for about 1 minute, or until the salt has dissolved. Add the oranges, onion, garlic, and remaining 3 quarts water. Remove from the heat and cool the brine.

Add the pork chops to the brine and place a plate on top of the chops to keep them submerged. Place the pot in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the chops from the brine, scrape off any of the spices, and pat dry. Discard the brine and place the chops on a plate. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to grill.

To make the rub, mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Prepare you gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat, and coat the brined chops in the rub.

Grill the pork chops on each side for 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Apple-walnut slaw

• 4 Granny Smith apples,

cored and julienned

• Juice of 1/ 2 lemon

• 1 cup red grapes, halved

• 1/ 2 cup walnut pieces, toasted

• 3 green onions, finely chopped

• 2 Tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

• salt and black pepper

• 1/ 2 cup creamy blue cheese salad



Toss the apples with the fresh lemon juice so the apples don’t turn brown. Mix all the remaining ingredients together with the apples in large mixing bowl, adjusting the seasonings to taste. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve alongside pork chops.

The recipe on this page is from Cooking the Cowboy Way (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2009) by Grady Spears and June Naylor.