Brined Pork Chops with ApplesFeatured by Laetitia Vineyard & Winery in the Gold Wine Club.
4 cups apple cider
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 1 1/2-inch-thick center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed of excess fat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup Calvados or apple brandy
2 tablespoons raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add pork chops to brine. Top with plate to submerge pork. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
Drain brine from pork chops. Pat pork dry. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add pork and cook until brown but not cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pork to plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add pork onion to same skillet. Cover and cook until onion is soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Add apples and sauté until pale golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth and cider, then Calvados, raisins and ginger, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add cream and mustard. Bring sauce to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add pork. Cover; cook 3 minutes. Turn pork over and cook until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150 degrees Fahrenheit, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer pork to plates.
Simmer sauce until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes longer. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over pork and serve.