Brined Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce and Trumpet Garlic Mushrooms

I love a great pork chop, when they are done perfectly.  I like my pork chops thick, not 1/2 thick slabs that Grandma used to fry until they were 190 degrees and hard as a rubber tire.  You could hardly swallow those old day pork chops that is why she put applesauce on the side so you get it down your throat.  It was not her fault, she was in fact a fine cook.  It was the FDA that mandated and basically scared the people into even eating pork because of the risk of worms.   That is not the case anymore and pink in the middle of the pork chop is just perfect.  I think you are going to love this recipe.  We sure did.

First thing you do is BRINE your chops.  1 cup sugar, 1 cup salt 5 cups of water and a bay leaf.  I usually put 2 cups of water and bring to boil, add salt, sugar, and bay leaf  until dissolved.  Add the three cups of cold water once removed from the heat.  When it gets cool, add your chops and remove them in 4-6 hours.  This will make the meat very moist when you are eating it later.

Chops in the brine, I add ice to bring the temperature down. Brine for 4-6 hours.

I love the fall and the fresh mushrooms it brings.  Something about the weather changing so its crisp and cold and all the trees are changing their colors, and you can see your breath in the frigid air and be out picking fresh wild mushrooms.  One of my favorite past times.

I clean my mushrooms and get everything prepped for the side dish, that will accompany these chops.

Clean the trumpet mushrooms, and chop some garlic

Sauteed Trumpet Mushroom

  • 6 large Trumpet mushrooms cut lengthwise in half.
  • 6 peeled whole garlic cloves, chopped.
  • 1/2 cup of flat leaf Parsley, chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • sea salt and pepper
Everything is ready to roll.

Once the chops are out of the brine, wash them and then dry them.  I make a nice rub and rub them generously with the rub ingredients.

Spice Rub

  • teaspoon of paprika
  • teaspoon of garlic powder
  • teaspoon of onion powder
  • teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Put the rub on both sides and let meat come to room temperature.

Hard Cider Sauce

  • 1 cup of local hard cider
  • 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce.  I used Tapatio
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
The ingredients for the sauce

Start your oven and pre-heat to 350 degrees.  Start heating up a cast iron pan, once its hot get some butter and olive oil about a tablespoon each and once its hot, throw your chops on it and sear each side about 4 minutes each side.

Once they are brown flip them

Get your other pan on Medium heat and add a tablespoon of butter for your mushrooms.  Add your garlic to the pan and cook for 4 minutes carmelizing, add some olive oil then add your mushrooms, and parsley and cook until brown about 7 minutes because of the thickness of Trumpet mushrooms.

Remove the pork chops from the pan and put in cooking dish, cover with alum. foil and put in oven for 15 minutes or until internal temp. is 145 degrees. While you finish the sauce and mushrooms.

Take the same cast iron pan you had the chops in and add the cider and de-glaze the pan, scraping the bottom up with a rubber spatula from any brown bits.

J.K’s Scrumpy Hard Cider

Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and whisk in Dijon Mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and your hot sauce.   Remove from heat and add your cream.

Add the heavy cream to the dish while stirring.

Taste the sauce and add some salt and pepper to your flavor.

Mushrooms should be done with a nice brown appearance.

Nice and brown, make sure to taste, you may have to sprinkle a little sea salt on top.

The pork chops can sit for a few minutes, then plate.  The sauce should be dribbled on top of the pork chop.  Do pour all of it on top, too much will over flavor the meat dish. In fact in this picture it may be a little too much.  I would just drizzle over the chop and a little on the side.

Moist pork chops are plated.

Serve with some dinner rolls and a fresh garden salad you are going to be the hit of the party.  Why go pay someone to make a spectacular dish when you can do it all yourself at home.

Pay particular attention to the internal meat color. A little pink is good and moist and most importantly, filled with flavor.

That folks is what life is all about.  The fresh mushrooms are out there now, chanterelle are popping as we speak and it is going to be sunny and cold this weekend.  It is a good excuse to get out of the house and in the woods.  Your taste buds will thank you!

Trumpet mushrooms have a lot of flavor and good texture.


I hope you enjoy!

The Hunting Chef

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