Beer Braised Pork Chops

There is nothing like the deep flavor of a pork chop from a well-raised hog. But, if you are used to cooking industrial chops, the more exercised muscles and thicker bands of fat of pastured pork can present a challenge. The solution? A slow braise to melt all the delicious fat and leave the chops tender and succulent. This dish is even better if cooled, refrigerated overnight, and rewarmed the next day. It makes an excellent breakfast.
By / Photography By Casey Letellier & Dorothy Hall | March 01, 2016

Ingredients

For the brine:
  • 2½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 bone-in pork chops
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • about 3 cups of a not-too-hoppy beer
  • salt, as needed
  • spices to steer the dish toward whatever you’d like to use as sides.
  • (Used in the photo above and at right are smoked paprika and fresh parsley, served with Forbidden Rice, sautéed kale, and a sunny side up egg.)

Preparation

A note about selecting the beer:

For this recipe, I used Bentonville Brewing Company’s Witbier. Other good choices would be Ozark’s Belgian Golden, Bike Rack’s Urban Trail Golden, Core’s Leghound, or Fossil Cove’s T-Rex Tripel. A hard cider from Black Apple Crossing would be delicious, too.

1. The day before cooking the pork chops, combine water, dark brown sugar, and salt in a saucepan, and heat until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Set aside to cool before adding the pork chops. Then, let two pork chops thaw overnight while refrigerated in the brine.

2. When ready to cook, pat the pork chops dry. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter, and sear the chops until browned, approximately a minute on each side. Remove chops from the pan, and set aside.

3. Add onions to the hot pan, and sauté until softened. Return chops to pan, and add enough beer to almost cover. Reduce heat to low, and braise on the stovetop or in a 275° oven until tender, about two hours, adding additional beer as needed. Serve with the braising liquid.

Ingredients

For the brine:
  • 2½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 bone-in pork chops
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • about 3 cups of a not-too-hoppy beer
  • salt, as needed
  • spices to steer the dish toward whatever you’d like to use as sides.
  • (Used in the photo above and at right are smoked paprika and fresh parsley, served with Forbidden Rice, sautéed kale, and a sunny side up egg.)
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