Maple-Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 2 hours


1 cup water

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns

1 bay leaf (dried)

2 cups ice cubes

4 bone-in pork chops (natural, cut ¾ inch thick, 8-ounce each)

vegetable oil

3 peaches (ripe, firm, halved and pitted)

arugula and peach salad (for serving, see recipe, below)

1. In a 2-quart saucepan combine water, maple syrup, salt, peppercorns and bay leaf. Heat and stir just until salt dissolves. Remove from heat. Stir in ice. If necessary, cool brine to 45°F.

2. Place pork chops in a large resealable bag. Pour brine over pork; close bag. Place bag with chops in a large baking dish or on a rimmed baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

3. Preheat grill to medium heat for direct grilling. Remove pork chops from brine; pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine.

4. Brush grill grate with vegetable oil. Place pork chops on center of grate; place peach halves, cut sides down, on outer edge of grill. Grill, covered, for 8 to 12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F and peaches have grill marks, turning chops over halfway through grilling.

5. Transfer pork chops to a platter. Loosely cover with foil; let rest for 3 minutes. Cut peaches into wedges; serve with pork or, if desired, use peaches in salad.

6. Arugula-and-Peach Salad:
In a large bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves. Whisk in ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add 6 cups loosely packed baby arugula and the grilled peach wedges. Gently toss until evenly coated. Serve with the grilled pork chops. .

Courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa.