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A twist on New Year’s pork

Pork is a staple for New Year’s Day tables. But if you don’t like the typical pork and sauerkraut, here is a twist on the new year’s meal with maple mustard smothered pork chops

Maple Pork Brine

6 cups of water

4 - 1 ½ inch thick cut pork chops

¼ cup kosher salt

3 tbsp. maple syrup

2 tbsp. light brown sugar

Small bunch of sage

1 bulb of garlic

1 tbsp. peppercorns

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 chili de arbol

6 juniper berries

Maple mustard sauce

2 ounces of bourbon

1 ½ tbsp. of maple syrup

1 tbsp. whole grain mustard

1-2 tablespoons of safflower or a neutral oil

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

4-6 sage leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, add all of your brine ingredients, except for the pork. Mix well until sugar and salt is dissolved. Add your pork chops and place a small plate on top, to keep the pork covered with the brine. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight.

When you are ready to cook, take your pork chops out of the brine and pat dry. Place them onto a plate and let them come up to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Season your pork lightly with salt and pepper before cooking.

In a heavy bottom saute pan, add your oil. Turn your pan onto medium heat. When the oil is hot, add in your sage leaves. Fry your sage leaves until crisp. Place your sage leaves onto a plate to dry. Keep the sage flavored oil in the pan for your pork. Add in your pork chops to your saute pan. Cook the chops for two minutes, then cook the other side for two minutes, also. Keep turning the pork on both sides to evenly cook. The pork chops will be done when tested between 155-160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take the chops out of the pan and set aside while you make the sauce. Remove the oil from the pan.

With the pan off the heat, add your bourbon. On medium heat, reduce the bourbon by half. Once your bourbon is reduced, add your maple syrup and mustard. Take your sauce off the heat and add the butter. Whisk to emulsify the sauce and add your pork back in. Add any juices that came out of the pork into the sauce. Turn the pork on both sides to coat them with the sauce.

Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Maple mustard pork chops