Cider-Brined Pork Chops with Creamed Leeks and Apples

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| Servings: 4 servings


  • 4 1/4 cups apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 10-ounce bone-in center-cut pork rib chops
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 5 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, halved, each half cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup Calvados
  • Olive oil


  1. Bring 4 cups cider, salt, allspice, and bay leaf to boil in large saucepan, stirring to dissolve salt. Cool completely. Place pork in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour brine over. Cover; refrigerate overnight.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks; sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Creamed leeks can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
  3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add apples and sauté 10 minutes. Add sugar and sauté until apples are golden, about 6 minutes longer. Add stock, then Calvados and remaining 1/4 cup cider. Simmer until liquid thickens slightly and apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Prepare barbecue (medium heat) or preheat broiler. Drain pork. Rinse under cold water; pat dry. Brush pork with oil. Grill or broil to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium.
  4. Meanwhile, rewarm leeks, thinning with 1 to 3 tablespoons water if necessary. Bring apples to simmer. Spoon leeks onto plates. Top with pork, then apples.

Comments: Brining the pork makes it especially juicy.

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