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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lessons Learned - 3

This lesson is a little more recent.  It occurred during our kitchen remodel and I was doing a lot of our cooking outdoors.  I had watched the Alton Brown TV episode on Chops Ahoy (Episode 78, Season 6 of Good Eats) and now I have the Good Eats book where I found the recipe for Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops on page 368.

This recipe looks easy enough, I went to the store and purchased the golden raisins and dried cherries.  When I looked for the cornbread crumbs with the breadcrumbs, I couldn't find anything similar, so I purchased some Italian seasoned bread crumbs to stuff the pork chops.

This recipe was very interesting to me as the pork chops are marinated in brine for several hours before final preparation for cooking.  This allows the meat to pull in the liquid into the cells of the meat and keeps it moist while cooking.  I made the heated vinegar and salt brine and immersed the pork chops in the solution and put the container in the refrigerator.

Something came up that night and I didn't finish this recipe until the next day.  I retrieved my pork chops from the brine and cut the pocket in the pork chop where the stuffing will go.  That is the hardest part of the entire operation to keep from slicing yourself or cutting through the side and ruining the pocket.  Alton uses a bagel slicer for this purpose, but my wife was not about to let me use ours for this meal.  This was step was quite easy as we didn't have a kitchen, I just did my prep work on my work bench in the garage.  It's too bad I didn't need a screwdriver or pliers as they are right there!

I mixed up the stuffing mixture and it tasted pretty good.  Using a spoon and my gloved thumb, I forced the mixture into the pockets of all the pork chops completely filling each one.  Out to the waiting BBQ and I cooked the chops for about 15 minutes.  Alton recommends at least 12 minutes for medium, but we like to make sure they are cooked all the way through.

We sat down to a wonderful looking meal, stuffed pork chops, brown rice and salad.  Mmmm!

That is until the first bite.  "My this is salty" I was thinking.  About that time, my wife politely tells me that it is just about 10,000 times too salty and that she will not be able to eat the pork chops and by the way, how much salt did I use?  It turns out that it was not the added salt in the recipe, but leaving the pork chops in the marinade for over 24 hours.  They had absorbed large amounts of the salt as well as the liquid.  The Italian seasoning didn't help at all as it is quite salty.

I managed to salvage the meat and that is now cut into little strips and frozen for the next time I make fried rice.  You can bet the fried rice won't need any additional salt.

I plan on making this recipe again, and in preparation the last time I made corn bread, I reserved some, crumbled it, dried it out in the oven, and put it in the freezer for next time.

My lesson learned is never marinate your meat in a brine solution for more than the recommended time, as you probably will not like the results.

1 comment:

  1. I brined mine for 12 hours and it was waaay too salty. Alton's books recommends 6-12 hours but I'm thinking more like 3 hours.