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Milk-Brined Pork Chops with Hard Cider Sauce

Main Courses

Serves 5

Milk and bourbon combine to make the brine for these yummy pork chops. Plan ahead, as they need to soak in the brine for 2 days before grilling. But it’s worth it! Finish with a glaze of hard apple cider sauce and you have a dish your friends and family will love.



  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup Jim Beam bourbon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cups ice
  • 5 pork chops, 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick

Hard Cider Sauce

  • 6 11.5-oz bottles hard apple cider
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups veal demi-glace made from 2 pkgs demi-glace powder
  • Ground black pepper


In a medium-sized saucepot, bring milk, water and bourbon to a boil. Reduce heat and add sugar, salt, bay leaves, thyme, sage and peppercorns.

When mixture returns to a boil, remove from heat and cool saucepot in an ice bath in a sink or washtub. Add the 4 cups of ice to bring to cool and gently dilute it. Immerse pork chops in cool brine and soak refrigerated for two days.

Hard Cider Sauce

In a heavy saucepot, reduce apple cider, apples, garlic and thyme. When cider reduces to approximately 1½ cups liquid, add chicken stock and veal demi-glace. Simmer sauce for about 30 minutes, allowing liquid to reduce and concentrate. Season with pepper. Strain sauce and set aside.

When ready to prepare, season brined pork chops with salt and pepper. Place on hot grill or in hot greased sauté pan, cooking until one side is crispy. Turn over and glaze with 2 Tbsp hard cider sauce. Place in 450º oven and cook for 10 minutes. Garnish with hard cider sauce, to taste.