Recipe: Tuscan brined pork chops with salsa verde

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A recipe that is ideal for any occasion, from weeknight meals to Sunday suppers to get-togethers with friends, can be hard to come by. Tuscan brined pork chops with salsa verde is a near-perfect answer for all of these occasions.

Pork chops ingredients:

  • 4 thick-cut pork rib chops (1.5 cm) 280 g each
  • 150 g kosher salt
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 4 crumbled bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped, plus 1 tbsp chopped
  • 2 dried red chili peppers, crumbled
  • Zest of one lemon, peeled with a vegetable peeler
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Salsa verde:

  • 1 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup rocket 
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp salt-preserved capers, rinsed
  • 180 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Put the pork chops in a 4 litre freezer bag and place the bag in a large bowl. In another large bowl whisk the salt and sugar with 1.4 litres water until dissolved. Add the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, chilli and lemon zest. Pour the brine over the pork. Seal bag and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
  2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Remove chops from brine and pat dry. Place chops on the grill and cook 4 minutes per side. They should be nicely browned and register between 135 - 140 degrees on a meat thermometer.
  3. Loosely cover the chops with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Season with black pepper to taste and sprinkle with chopped rosemary; serve with salsa verde.
  4. To make salsa verde, pulse parsley, rocket and coriander in a food processor until chopped. Add garlic, capers, olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt and pulse until combined. Taste and season with additional salt if desired.

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