We started the new year with one of my eating no-nos – pork. There is probably enough research in the whole world that suggests that there are a few problematic things about eating a lot of pork even if there are a few benefits. We eat as little pork as possible, and it is difficult because it’s so darn tasty especially in smokey, cured, raw ham-laden Europe.
But every now and then I make an exception especially when I find a recipe that looks as great as this one. Confections of a Foodie Bride is one of my regular blog reads – I love her recipes but don’t cook them often as the ingredients can be hard to find in Europe, and I’m not a baker. I couldn’t resist this one for the ingredients, but also because I’ve never brined anything. It is always fantastic to learn something new about cooking.
Her secret to tender pork chops is a 24-hour brine in molasses, water, salt, pepper and rosemary, and it works. The meat was soft and tasty. The sauce is also a real winner. I followed the recipe carefully, so I don’t have any cooking notes today. I paired the pork chops with a creamy polenta that turned out to be a bit of a disaster. I have rarely cooked polenta and forgot that it really does thicken at the end. I thought there was too much liquid and started adding more polenta after the first part had already cooked – BAD idea. It was still salvageable at the end, but I’ll be doing that a bit differently in the future.