Saturday, May 3, 2014

Coffee Brined Pork Loin Chops

What?  Coffee in a brine.  Absolutely.  It brings smokey bitter notes to a naturally sweet meat like pork.  Grill it over sweet mesquite and omg...its terrific.

The coffee you use will make a difference. I prefer bold roasts for the rounded bitterness.  A medium roast will work in a pinch.  Skip right over the light "breakfast blend" roasts as they are too light to work well with this brine.

Costco sells pork loins, whole strips about 2-3 feet long on the cheap.  This lack of butchering on their part is a bonus for me in that I can cut it into thick loin chops or modest sides loin roasts.  All at a fraction of the cost the local groc charges.  Wrap it up in good freezer paper and its good to go for a couple of months before use.

I use the Thai red chili in this.  I like the heat and flavor.  If you can find it your groc is challenged and you need to tell them to get on the ball and stock them.  If that doesn't work you can substitute a red jalapeno pepper.

Coffee Brined Pork Loin Chops

  • 4 large 1 1/2" thick pork loin chops
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 heaping T coffee
  • 1" piece of ginger sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic - smashed
  • 2 Thai red chili - sliced horizontally
  • 1 T dried thyme 
  • 1 t kosher salt

In sauce pot add ginger and coffee grounds.  Bring to a boil.  Then remove from heat and cover, let steep for 5-10 minutes.  Strain the mixture tossing coffee grounds but reserving the ginger slices.  Add smashed garlic, sliced Thai chili , salt and thyme.  Put the pork loin chops into a large food storage bag, pour in coffee mixture with the veggies and herbs.  Seal bag, place in a large bowl to catch potential leaks, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.

1 hour prior to grilling pull the pork loin chops from the fridge and allow it to sit on counter to come to room temperature.  This ensures even cooking.  Remove chops from bag, pat dry with towel and grill 5-6 minutes per side until cooked through. (FDA recommends 165f, I' go with 150 so its still juicy but no longer pink).

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