Lots of family and friends have been asking us about what happened to our blog. We haven’t given up on blogging, cooking, and most importantly eating!!! We aren’t the quitter type of people. 🙂
The last couple of months has been busy and stressful for us. We relocated across Canada from the East to the beautiful west coast Vancouver! I had my fair share of moving around from student life. Oh boy, moving for myself is SO much simpler. I load/stuff all my belongings into my car (to the top), and that’s it! Moving both of us was definitely not as easy… Let’s just stop here because I can rant forever about how hard it was to downsize (it’s still a work in progress everyday).
This year has been an unusually cold and snowy winter for the Vancouver area. Many historic snowfall records have been re-written this winter. It just like felt forever and ever! We started to question our move to Vancouver!
To be honest, I was affected by the dreary weather, stress of our move, and new job. I had no inspiration or time to make a new blog post. There are days that I really want to give up on blogging. But then I have my aha moments, about food and life. I know I just needed to be patient with myself and recognize my gastronomic inspiration was just taking a long hibernation break.
Pork chop (aka America’s cut, pork loin filet) is not a cut of meat we eat at home often. It is a big hunk of meat without too much excitement built-in. It’s typically low in fat, which is great for making meat tender and juicy. I wanted to revisit cooking with a simple and cheap, but challenging cut of meat.
So how does one create a tender and flavourful chop? As I flipped through my cookbooks for inspiration, brining popped up as an idea. I had never experimented with brine before because it sounded so complicated and time consuming, however I happened to have some time, so I gave it a try. Oh boy, brining was a complete game-changer! The pork chops were so moist and tender, and infused with savory flavours. I will never cook my pork chops without brining since making this.
You can totally stop here, simply sear your brined pork chops and you will have a finger-licking good dinner. However, I wanted to be fancy to impress the boy (note: boy was impressed as usual!). I stuffed with apple and smoked chorizo.
What, meat stuffed with meat? Who doesn’t like that!?
Apple-Chorizo Stuffed Pork Chop
Brining time: minimum 3 hours to maximum 24 hours (over brining leads to mushy protein)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 4 pork chops (about 1 inch thick cut)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- ¼ cup sea salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 cups of water
- 1 large finely diced apple (I used gala)
- 100g finely diced dry cured chorizo (I used smoky one)
- 1 shallots, thinly sliced
- Brine the pork chops: Dissolve salt and brown sugar in 1 cup of boiling water. Add 3 more cups of cold water to bring the brine to room temperature. Put the pork chops flat in a large zip-lock bag and pour the brine into the bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible, the brine should cover all chops. Refrigerate until cooking.
- Apple-chorizo stuffing: Sauté shallots until caramelized, add the diced chorizo. Sauté for another 5 minutes, until the oil of chorizo has came out. Then add the apple, cover and cook until apple is soft for about 5 more minutes.
Pulse the stuffing in a food processor or use an immersion blender until they start to stick together, but not into a paste.
- Stuff the pork: create a deep pocket from the fatty side of pork chops with paring knife. Stuff each chop with about a quarter of stuffing.
- Cook the pork chops: preheat the oven and cast iron pot to 400F first. Remove the chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Season with pepper, salt and olive oil. Sear the chop over medium-high heat on stovetop in preheated cast iron pot for about 3 minutes. Make sure your vent is on or window is open.
Flip the pork chops to the other side, then carefully transfer the pot to oven without burning yourself.
Roast the pork chops in the oven for another 10 minutes, until internal temperature is at least 140F.
Transfer the cooked pork chops to a tray, loosely cover with foil and let the pork chops rest for 5 to 10 minutes.