Recipe: Dry-brined pork chops with roasted asparagus, fennel and radishes

Dry brining is an alternative to traditional brining (i.e. submerging a piece of meat in salty water) with the goal of keeping the meat moist via osmosis. Dry brining involves covering the meat directly with salt (and optional spices), which initially draws water out of the meat. However, given enough time, the water is reabsorbed by the meat, which tenderises in the process and remains moist. This works better with thicker chops (steaks, etc.).

Dry-brined pork chops with roasted asparagus, fennel and radishes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 pork chops
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 4 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • Vegetables:
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • handful of rocket
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • drizzle of caramelised balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Season both sides of the pork chops with paprika, oregano and salt. Place chops on a rimmed baking sheet and leave in the fridge uncovered at least overnight and up to 24 hours.
  2. Take chops out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
  4. Snap hard ends of asparagus stalks and cut them in 2-3 pieces.
  5. Wash and chop fennel in large chunks.
  6. Place asparagus, fennel and radishes in a baking sheet, drizzle with coconut oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
  7. While vegetables are roasting, heat oil in a pan. Shake excess salt off chops and cook 6-8 minutes per side, until completely cooked through.
  8. Serve chops alongside vegetables drizzled with caramelised balsamic.

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