Fortunately for me, Maple Breeze Farm in Westbrook CT is close by for farm fresh ingredients. Bonnie and Bill Hall run the farm and set aside some juicy loin chops for this recipe, along with their first batch of maple syrup tapped this spring.
Adapted from Bonnie’s Maple Syrup Pork Chop recipe, I chose to soak the meat overnight in a cider brine…. so no one will ever say I serve dry pork chops. Brush on the maple chile glaze, grill till just pink, and serve with my Cucumber-Pineapple Salad.
Note – if you can’t find pork chops at a farmer’s market or near-by farm, select the freshest loin chops you can find, preferably bone-in.
Chipotle Cider Brine
1 cup apple cider or juice
1 cup water
1/8 cup kosher salt
1/8 cup turbinado or coconut sugar
1 chipotle pepper
Place all brine ingredients in a blender and blend on medium high for 1 minute. Transfer to a shallow dish and place 2 pork loin chops with bone-in in brine. If chops are not covered in liquid, double the brine recipe. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Maple Chile Glaze
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Tamari soy sauce
1 teaspoon chile powder or 1 chipotle pepper finely diced
salt and pepper to taste
Remove chops from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Brush glaze in a thin layer on both sides of the pork chops. Grill on both sides while continuing to mop on more glaze without charring the chops. Done when pink and juicy in the center. Optional sauce can be made with remaining glaze by adding 1/2 cup orange juice and simmer for 10 minutes. Sauce can be thickened with cornstarch or tapioca starch.