Cider Brined Pork Chop with Pistachio Relish 

Cowboy Star

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper

Cider-Brined Pork Chop with Bacon Lardoons, Brussels Sprouts, Cider Jus and Pomegranate-Pistachio Relish

For pork chops:

3 c. water

½ c. brown sugar

¼ c. kosher salt

1 c. apple cider

4 pork chops, about 10 oz. each (we use pork from McDonald Family Farm in Brush, Colorado)

For bacon lardoons:

½ lb. slab of bacon

For Brussels sprouts:

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, very thinly sliced

2 tbsp. shallots, minced

¼ c. vegetable stock

4 tbsp. butter

salt and black pepper

For cider jus:

1 tbsp. olive oil

¼ c. sliced shallots

½ c. apple cider

½ c. pork stock

For pomegranate-pistachio relish:

2 tbsp. pistachio oil

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses

½ c. pomegranate seeds

¼ c. toasted shelled pistachios

click to enlarge cowboystar1-2-1d5066a85928c490.jpg

For pork chops:

Combine water, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl until salt and sugar dissolve, then add the cider. Put the pork chops in a large zip-top bag and add the brine. Let brine for 3 hours. Cook pork chops over medium heat until internal temperature reads 140 degrees. Let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes. (Be careful not to over-season the pork chops, as they will pick up salt from the brine.)

For bacon lardoons:

Cut bacon into ¼-inch dice, then spread the bacon in a pan at medium heat, stirring often. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, drain the bacon, and reserve the fat for later use.

For Brussels sprouts:

Heat olive oil at medium heat, adding sprouts and shallots, and cook for 4 minutes. Add vegetable stock and butter and cook until liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.

For cider jus:

Heat olive oil and sauté shallots until soft. Add cider and simmer until shallots have absorbed most of the liquid, then add pork stock and reduce by half.

For pomegranate-pistachio relish:

Mix pistachio oil, vinegar and molasses until well blended. Keep at room temperature. Reserve pomegranate seeds and pistachios until ready to serve.

click to enlarge cowboystar1-3-918a4c1e9a78a0b8.jpg

To serve:

Place equal portions of Brussels sprouts on each plate and place pork chop on top. Finish relish with bacon lardoons, pomegranate seeds and pistachios, then spoon cider sauce over the chops. Finish with a generous portion of the relish on top of the pork and around the plate. Serves 4.


Cowboy Star buys whole pork and we utilize the whole animal to create stocks, main dishes, bacon and our sausages. You can always find all of these items available at our butcher shop. During pomegranate season, I cook this recipe for my family. Happy eatings!

— Submitted by Executive Chef/Co-founder Victor Jimenez

  • Cowboy Star

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