3 1/2 cups
black peppercorns, whole
pork chops, about 1-inch thick
( refer to note)
1 1/2 cups
2 -3 teaspoons whole grain mustard, to taste or 2 -3 teaspoons mustard or 2 -3 teaspoons
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly grated, to taste
- Place black peppercorns in a plastic zip-top bag and seal. With a meat mallet, crush peppercorns slightly. Note that not all peppercorns should be crushed, but only a few to release flavor.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cider and salt until the salt dissolves.
- Place the brine in a large zip-top bag (or if the bag isn't large enough to fit all the pork chops, divide the brine into 2 zip-top bags).
- If using 2 bags, add to each bag half the peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, and 3 garlic cloves. If using 1 large bag add the full amount of the peppercorns, bay leaf and garlic. Mix to incorporate seasonings evenly.
- Place chops evenly in bag(s), seal and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or brine overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Set oven rack to the middle position. Drain the chops well and discard brine, blot dry if desired. Remove the whole peppercorns that are stuck to chops and discard.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and depending on the size of your skillet, add 2 to 3 pork chops. Cook until browned on each side, 3 - 5 minutes. Turn the chops and cook until browned on the other side, 3 - 4 minutes more. Repeat with remaining chops. Set the skillet aside and DO NOT drain off butter and brown bits in the skillet.
- Layer the chops in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake until pale pink in the center for 15 - 20 minutes, being careful not to overcook to prevent them from drying.
- While pork chops are in the oven or before placing chops in oven, prepare your sauce:.
- Return skillet to medium-high heat and add the cider. As it bubbles, use a wooden spoon to scrape up brown bits on the bottom of skillet. Add the chicken broth, turn the heat to high, and boil until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, 8 - 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in cream and mustard. Season with salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste.
- Once chops have completed cooking, remove from oven and place in serving tray. Pour sauce over the chops and serve immediately.
- NOTE: If using bone-in, they may take longer to cook. Also depending on the thickness of your chops, keep a close eye on the cooking time.