• Brine:
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1bay leaf
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • ½yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart water, or as needed
  • 4 (1 1/2 inches thick) boneless center-cut pork loin chops
  • Glaze:
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12whole cloves
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Combine 1 1/2 cups boiling water, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, cloves, and bay leaf together in a large container; stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. (See Cook’s Note to substitute table salt.)


  • Step 2

    Place celery, onion, and garlic in a blender. Add 2 cups cold water and puree until smooth. Pour celery mixture into kosher salt mixture and stir to combine. Add 1 quart of water, or more as needed, to make a total of 2 quarts of brine. Place pork chops in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 2 days.

  • Step 3

    Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl and set glaze aside.

  • Step 4

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Step 5

    Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry; discard used brine. Cut shallow slits along the sides of each pork chop, about 1/4 inch deep. Cut a crisscross pattern in the top of each pork chop, creating small 1-inch triangles.

  • Step 6

    Heat oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over high heat. Cook chops in the hot oil until browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Brush the crisscrossed top of each pork chop with about 1 tablespoon of glaze. Insert 3 whole cloves in the top of each pork chop.

  • Step 7

    Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and roast pork chops until golden brown and slightly pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Remove pork chops to a plate and discard cloves.

  • Step 8

    Using a small butane hand torch, brown the tops of the pork chops by making short passes over the tops with the flame not quite touching.

  • Editor's Note:

    If using fine table salt, you’ll need barely 1/3 cup.

    Always brine foods in a food-grade, non reactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket.

    The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary.

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