e2 emeril’s eatery’s Heritage Farms Double Cut Pork Chops
Recipe courtesy Chef Emeril Lagasse and Chef Brian Mottola
For the Brine:
2 cups light brown sugar
½ cup kosher salt
1 gallon water
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 ounces fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
4 to 6 double-cut pork chops, about 16 ounces each
2 10-ounce bottles pomegranate molasses
1 cup light brown sugar
2 onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 gallon chicken stock
Sweet Potato Hash Spice
3 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder or approximately 1 tablespoon of whole ancho chile
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon crushed cardamom pods
Sweet Potato Hash
2 teaspoons blended oil
1 1/2 cups diced red onion
1 cup diced poblano pepper
3 cups roasted sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon Sweet Potato Hash Spice, or to taste
1/2 cup toasted pecans, for garnish
Prepare the brine: Combine the brown sugar and salt in the water and bring to a boil. Stir until dissolved and then add the rest of the brine ingredients. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Once the solution has completely cooled, place the liquid and the pork chops in a large bowl or resealable plastic food storage bag. Place in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.
Make the Pomegranate Glaze: Add the pomegranate molasses and sugar to the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat until reduced by half. Glaze should coat the back of a spoon. Strain glaze through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids. Set glaze aside until ready to use.
Make the Sweet Potato Hash Spice: Combine all of the ingredients in a sauté pan over medium-high heat and toast (stirring frequently) until spices are fragrant. Transfer the toasted spices to a plate and allow to cool, then process in a spice mill or coffee mill until finely ground.
Just before you are ready to serve the pork chops, make the Sweet Potato Hash: Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the onion and peppers and sauté until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until heated through and flavors have blended, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the Sweet Potato Hash Spice to taste along with the butter. Toss to combine, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Keep warm until ready to serve.
When you are ready to cook the pork chops, preheat the oven to 400°F and preheat a large heavy nonstick grill pan over medium high heat. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Add the chops to the grill pan, in batches if necessary, and cook for 2 minutes or until a nice grill mark has formed. Turn the pork chops one-quarter turn and cook another 2 minutes to form nice a nice grill pattern on the chop. Turn the chops and cook on the second side for about 1 minute, then repeat with a quarter turn. Transfer chops to a baking sheet and roast in the oven until the chops are just cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the center of the chop measures 140 degrees F, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. (The chops will continue to cook.)
Serve the chop liberally brushed with the Pomegranate Glaze alongside the Sweet Potato Hash. Sprinkle the hash with pecans just before serving and drizzle with more glaze if desired.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings