Brining with milk is a great way to tenderize pork and other meats. The brining process opens up the protein to absorb the flavours of your brine and prevents it from drying during the cooking process.
Chef Missy Hui promises us, “The brining process will give you the greatest pork chop of your life. Brining with milk is a great way to impart a number of flavours into your protein. It’s excellent because it increases the caramelization of amino acids –that beautiful crusting on the exterior of a pork chop. The combination of the milk and the salt is magical.”
In a pan over high heat, bring water, salt, sugar, cinnamon, thyme, sage, mustard seed, black peppercorns and garlic to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, add in cold milk and stir to combine.
Add in pork chops, ensuring they are completely submerged.
Cover and place in fridge to brine overnight, ideally 24-48 hours.
Remove pork from brine and discard brine.
Pat pork dry with paper towels or clean kitchen towel and set aside until ready to cook.
Preheat oven to 400°F(205°C)
In a large, cast iron skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsp canola oil or other high smoke point oil.
Add in pork chops—remember they have been brined, so do not season with salt.
Sear until golden crust begins to develop and then flip over and place in the pre-heated oven. Brined pork chops are considered safe and delicious cooked to medium (internal temperature 145°F-150°F); however, they will still be very flavourful and juicy cooked well done (temperature 160°F-165°F). Cook to your preference—roughly 8-10 minutes for medium and 14-16 minutes for well done.
Chef’s note: if your pork chops are boneless, the cooking time will be less.
Remove pork from oven. Place pork chops on a tray or plate next to the stove (or other warm spot) to rest.
Now, on the stove top, in the same pan you cooked your pork chops, add in the unsalted butter, mushroom and onions.
Cook over medium heat until mushrooms and onions begin to colour and the delicious crusty bits on the bottom of thepan from searing begin to release.
Add in garlic and rosemary and cook until aromatic (1-2 minutes).
Add white wine to deglaze and let reduce by half.
Tip: Deglazing is the process of adding liquid to a pan or skillet to release caramelized ingredients that have stuck to the bottom.
Add in stock and cream.
Simmer until liquid has reduced by 1/2 and is rich and creamy (5-8 minutes).
Add in finely chopped parsley, fresh cracked black pepper and salt to taste.
Remove tie from pork chop and place on serving plate. Add any juices from rested pork to the sauce. Spoon mushroom sauce over pork. Enjoy!!!
Chef’s Tip: This dish is best served with pasta or rice.
If you prefer fresh pasta, here’s an easy recipe to roll by hand. The fat in the sour cream works against the formation of long gluten strands allowing for a shorter rest period and a tender dough that is easy to roll very thinly, even with just a rolling pin.
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and salt and add eggs, sour cream and water.
Using a fork, in a circular motion mix the liquid ingredients, slowly beginning to incorporate the flour.
When liquid is fully incorporated into the flour and dough is beginning to form, begin working dough by hand.
Knead until a smooth and cohesive dough forms.
Wrap in plastic wrap and rest on counter for 15-20 minutes.
Roll to desired thickness (4mm-8mm is best) and cut to desired shape. Long thin noodles or rough-cut, rustic shapes are always very popular.
Boil in boiling salted water for 30-45 seconds.