In my humble opinion, one of the tastiest and flavourful meats to barbeque are porkchops. A couple of weeks ago, I prepared a brine to make our porkchops even juicier and tasty. Just allowing the meat to soak in a brine for several hours keeps it so very tender when cooking it. Whole chickens, turkeys, a pork roast or porkchops are improved when brined prior to roasting or barbequing. The first time I prepared a brine was for a 31 – 1/2 lb. turkey. It was so huge, I had a hard time to find a roasting pan to hold it. But the brine process before roasting kept the breast and leg meat dripping with juiciness when we sliced into it after roasting. It was almost unbelievable to see such juicyness dripping from the breast meat when we were slicing it. After that, I was hooked on brining. We sell Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt at my store Sharyn’s Pantry. I would not use any other brand of Kosher salt. None compares to the quality.
Back to our porkchops. Along with the chops, I roasted some potatoes which I sliced about 3/4 of the way through, brushed the sliced potatoes generously with garlic butter and stuck slices of red onions into each opening. My good friend Judy Butters served her potatoes this way when we were over for supper. Thanks Judy! They are pretty and taste as good as they look.
Alongside of the potatoes, I made a large casserole of oven rice. The oven rice recipe comes from a very old and dear friend, Jane Anderson whom I have known since I was in diapers. This rice dish is so delicious. I always make a double recipe and then freeze portions in ziploc bags for future meals. I hope you try these recipes, I know you will love them! Have a great week!
A BRINE FOR PORKCHOPS
Don’t worry about the salt. It will NOT soak into the meat making it salty. All it does is allow the meat to absorb the moisture and keep it juicy while cooking.
In a large ziploc bag, combine:
-about 6 cups of cold tap water (You want the bag to be about half full of water.)
-1/2 cup of Kosher salt
-1 tsp. of whole black peppercorns
-3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
-several cloves of garlic, sliced or squished and pressed flat with the back of the blade of a chef’s knife
-a handful of brown sugar
-Stir this mixture until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
-Now add in the porckchops. The bag should be full at this point. Seal carefully.
-Place this in your fridge for several hours.
-When ready to barbeque, drain off all of the liquid, and discard the brine. Rinse the chops under running tap water and pat the chops dry. Barbeque as you would normally do. At the last few minutes of cooking, brush with your favourite barbeque sauce. Do this several times for best flavour. ENJOY!!!
OVEN ROASTED POTATOES WITH RED ONIONS
Scrub but don’t peel as many potatoes as you wish to eat. These can be re-heated for another supper. I made extras. What’s new?
Slice the potatoes about 3/4 of the way through. Brush each of the potatoes where they are sliced with some garlic butter. To make garlic butter, melt about 1/2 cup of butter and stir into this about 2 or 3 tbsp. of minced garlic. You can add into this come rubbed oregano or basil or parsley for extra colour and flavour.
Into each slice of the potato, place a slice of red onion. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes in an open shallow roasting pan and bake them in a 350 degree F. oven until they are tender. This will take about 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Test for tenderness with the tip of a paring knife inserted into the potato. During roasting, brush the potatoes wiht the garlic butter that oozes out as they bake. ENJOY!!!
This casserole is cooked in just one hour. It uses sweet peppers, onions and celery for the vegetables. I use our (Sharyn’s Pantry) no salt or no MSG French onion soup mix to keep the sodium level down and well as our low sodium soya sauce. If you wish, you may add leftover cooked chicken, turkey, roast beef or ham. I mix everything right in my casserole dish. You have to try this! It will be one of your favourite side dishes. It freezes well.
-Choose the appropriate sized casserole dish or small roasting pan with a lid. I use a heavy porcelain coated cast iron baking dish, similar to a Le Creuset casserole dish.
-Spray the pan with No-stick cooking spray.
-Chop up the vegetables and add all of the ingredients asked for right into the casserole dish.
-Cover the dish and place in a 350 degree F, oven. Bake this for one hour.
-Halfway through the cooking time, stir the mixture to allow for even cooking. Cover with the lid and continue cooking for the remaining 30 minutes. Serve hot.
-If you plan to freeze extras, allow the rice to come to room temperature, then spoon into ziploc freezer bags. Label and freeze. To use, just thaw and re-heat in your microwave. It is a delicious dish to bring to work for your lunch. ENJOY!!!