Brining is nothing new. It has been around for centuries. Take bacon, for example; it's delicious. The secret is to lightly brining these chops will only need 20 minutes maximum, yes 20 minutes. Then, as they say, taste the difference. Prepare the pears first as they take around 2 hours to cook slowly in the oven.
- 4 pork chops, thick cut nice and fatty, say 2-2.5cm thick
- 60 g sugar
- 30 g salt
- 600 ml water
- 4 large ripe Conference pears
- 8 tbsp maple syrup
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Pears
- Set the oven to 160 C Gas 3.
- Cut the pears in half lengthways, cut a small sliver off the bottom of the pear, and then scoop out the core and pips with a spoon.
- You will end up with the pear sitting nicely cut side up and level.
- Drizzle over the maple syrup and olive oil, and a touch of salt and pepper, and bake in a cool oven for about 2 hours or until well shrivelled and soft.
- The pears will shrivel and brown slightly, but the flavour will intensify by about 3 fold.
For the Chops
- Place the sugar, water and salt together into a saucepan. Dissolve slowly over low heat, then bring to a boil when dissolved, cool.
- Once cool, weigh, and bring the total weight back to 600g or 600 ml with cold water.
- Pour half the brine into a small glass, ceramic, or stainless steel tray. Place the chops into the tray nice and snug, pour over the rest of the brine.
- Cover and leave for 20 minutes, no more.
- When ready to eat, remove the chops from the brine and dry well on a kitchen towel.
- There is no need to season the chops. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Lightly pepper the chops, then gently cook for 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Serve with the pears roughly sliced on top of the chops.
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