Grilled Pork Chops with Orange Tomatillo Salsa

I bought some chops from my farmers’ market that were about 1/2 inch thick. I brined them so that they would be tender and juicy after grilling.

For the brine:
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 cups water
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves

5 thin cut pork chops

For the salsa:
1 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles
1 large seedless navel orange, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped scallion greens
1 tablespoon garlic oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Make the brine. Combine the salt, sugar, and 2 cups of the water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer until everything is dissolved. Remove from heat, add the peppercorns, bay leaves, and 6 cups of water. Refrigerate until cold. Put the brine and the chops in a gallon size ziploc bag. Squeeze out the air so that the chops stay submerged. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Make the salsa. Preheat the broiler and put HALF of the tomatillos on a ridged baking sheet. Broil them for about 5 minutes, until they are starting to blacken. Flip them over and broil another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT the oranges in a food processor and pulse until the raw tomatillos are chopped fine. Dump into a bowl and stir in the chopped orange. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry. Oil the grill grate and preheat the grill. Grill the chops over a very hot fire for about 5 minutes per side. Serve with the salsa on the side.


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