Friday, February 5, 2010

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Chops

Serves 4


Brining is an easy step that really gives these chops some extra moisture, which goes a long way towards making them a real hit. That and cooking them to the right temperature. You do not want to overcook these guys. In fact, if I can convince you to try it, err on the side of undercooking. In the directions, I say remove them from the oven when their internal temperature reaches 155°F, but honestly, I always pull them out at about 145°F, and let them come up to temp as they rest on the countertop for a few minutes. This way they’re juicy and a lovely blushing shade of pink.

For the brine:
2 quarts water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp black peppercorns

4 pork chops (about 8 oz each)
extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 thin slices prosciutto
4 slices Sage Compound Butter

Combine 2 cups water with the rest of the brine ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, stirring, in order to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, add the remaining 6 cups cold water and cool completely. Add pork chops, cover and refrigerate at least six hours and up to 1 day.

At dinner time, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Heat about 2 Tbl olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the pork chops to the pan, without crowding, working in batches if you need to. Brown the pork chops, turning once and cooking about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the pork chops from the heat, wrap each with a single slice of prosciutto, and transfer to a roasting pan. Roast in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 155°F, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer pork chops to a platter, top each with a slice of Sage Compound Butter, and allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.




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