Double Cut Pork Chops with Garlic Butter

Double Cut Pork Chops with Garlic ButterLucky Thirteen

My husband and I celebrated our thirteenth anniversary over the weekend, and I gotta say while we haven’t really been married that long, the celebrations are a bit different now than they were in the long-ago days—when we first got married, and life was less complicated.

In the beginning there was wine, romance, a great night out, and the rare (very rare) piece of jewelry. These days we’re lucky if we remember it’s happening. We didn’t even remember until it was right on top of us. A gift to each other? We bought a sofa, ‘cause that ripped, dog/kid/cat/gravity stained one had become utterly intolerable.

I know. It’s okay to be jealous. Nothing says love and forever than paying a lot of money for a piece of furniture that in a few years will end up looking like the one we have now. #livinthedream

If we can’t go out and celebrate, I will often make a special dinner for all of us. That didn’t work out this year, so we celebrated with a bowl of ice cream. (Do we know how to party or what?)

If I had been able to make a special dinner, I would have made these pork chops. Recently my husband went cuckoo for cocoa puffs over them. It’s the brine that makes them so good.

Full disclosure; he’s a big fan of pork chops in general so take that with a grain of salt. But these were really good and very easy to do on the grill.

Double Cut Pork Chops with Garlic Butter
Adapted from The Food Network

Double Cut Pork Chops are special-occasion chops—you’ll need to get them from our butcher. They’re super thick, so the cooking time is longer, but they’re less likely to dry out.

You will need to start making the brine for the pork chops one day ahead.

For the pork
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 cup sugar
4 sprigs rosemary
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon juniper berries
5 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
4 double-cut bone-in pork rib chops (2 inches thick; about 5 pounds total)
Freshly ground pepper

For the roasted garlic butter
1 head garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling and brushing
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt

Make the brine.
Combine the salt, peppercorns, sugar, rosemary sprigs, bay leaves, 3 tablespoons each juniper berries and fennel seeds, the garlic and 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring it all to a boil, whisking occasionally. Remove from the heat. Transfer the brine to a large bowl and add 6 cups cold water. Let it cool completely. Submerge the pork chops in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat a grill to medium.

Make the roasted garlic butter.
Cut off the top 1/4 inch of the garlic head and set it on a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, then wrap in the foil and transfer to the grill. Cook until the garlic is softened, or for about 30 minutes. Let the garlic cool.

Meanwhile, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels; set aside.

Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the skins into a food processor. Add the butter, rosemary, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the Pork
Grind the remaining 1 teaspoon juniper berries and 2 tablespoons fennel seeds in a spice grinder or finely chop. Season the pork with the ground spices and salt and pepper. Lightly brush the grill grates with olive oil; transfer the pork to the grill. Cover and cook until marked, 15 minutes, rotating the pork 45 degrees halfway through to create a crosshatch pattern. Flip and repeat, cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145 degrees F.

Remove the pork chops from the grill and spread the roasted garlic butter on top. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving.

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