Apple Cider Vinegar Brined Chops with Lemon Pesto
I like cooking with raw, organic apple cider vinegar as it is known to have properties that are helpful for rheumatoid arthritis. This meal has apple cider vinegar in the brine, and also in the ‘pesto’ that I made for the chops. These were boneless lean pork chops which can often be very dry and with little flavor. Using a brine makes a huge difference and is worth the simple step.**See Arthritis Kitchen Tip
To make the brine I made a combination of apple cider vinegar, salt, brown sugar, bay leaf, peppercorns and a few chili flakes. Because this is a very short brine due to the small size of the pieces of meat, I wanted it to be really flavorful so I simmered the mixture in 1 cup of water to allow the flavors to steep. I then cooled this mixture, added 6 additional cups of cold water, place into a large freezer bag, added the cops and put them in the fridge for 6 hours.
After the chops have been in the brine for 6 but no more than 8 hours, remove, discard brine and rinse chops under cold running water for 2 min. Dry completely on paper towels. I made a mixture of shallots, lemon zest, rosemary, flat leaf parsley and sauteed briefly in olive oil, deglazed with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Let cool slightly then stir in some Parmesan. I topped the chops with this mixture and baked in a 400 oven for 40 min or until almost done, place under broiler for 3 min to give a grilled appearance if desired. I served this with sauteed crook neck yellow neck squash and red peppers and creamy scalloped potatoes.** Arthritis Kitchen Tip**
Make this brine or any liquid based mixture right into a large zip lock bag that you place inside a mixing bowl. This keeps anything you are working with stable without having to hang onto, is extremely light weight and spill proof and is a perfect vessel for any marinade. The extra bonus – no clean up!!