Irish Brined Pork Loin Chops

A lot of people have a cautious curiosity about pork. Many cuts, especially the loin and loin chops, are very lean and therefore a perfect addition to a healthy diet. But with that lean protein source lies the danger of dry, tasteless meat. But if you master the art of brining, you'll be making pork that's tender, succulent, and flavorful whenever you put it in your menu lineup.

The key to good brining is infusing a liquid with salt, sugar, and additional flavors and then giving that liquid and your pork an opportunity to get to know one another in the refrigerator before a quick cooking method. The recipe below is one of my favorites, but you can tweak things to use other flavoring items instead of the pickling spice and rosemary. Make it your own and give it a try!

I like buying a whole or half pork loin and slicing it into custom-sized pork loin chops. It gives me the opportunity to hold onto some of it as roasts (you can butterfly it, brine it as indicated below, and fill and roll it before roasting) and chops of varying thickness to suit my needs. This can be especially helpful when I'm looking to stuff the chops or, as I did with the chops pictured here, sear them quickly on the stovetop. Beyond that, buying the loin in larger amounts is always less expensive and it allows me to keep an eye out for great sales. So get ready for some delicious pork chops!

Irish Brined Pork Loin Chops

  • 2 c. water
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 T. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. pickling spice
  • 1 tsp. dried crushed rosemary
  • 4 pork loin chops

Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil and add in all the ingredients except the pork chops. Stir everything until it is combined.

Mix in the rest of the cold water to the brine solution and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once the brine is cool, place the pork chops into a shallow glass dish and cover with the brine solution, making sure the chops are fully covered. Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours.

After the chops have brined, drain the brine away and discard. I like to pan fry the chops on their own and serve alongside roasted vegetables, but you can also bake them or even slice them and use them in a stir-fry or the like.

  • Yields: 4 pork chops
  • Preparation Time: 6 hours - mostly all brining time in the refrigerator

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