Brined Pork Chops with Savory Rhubarb Compote and Orange Gremolata

Recipe by Lead WS Estate Host Kathleen de Chadenedes
Serves 4

Brine for Pork Chops
4 bone-in pork chops, rib or loin
2 cups water
¼ cups kosher salt
¼ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fennel seed, lightly crushed
2 teaspoons whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 teaspoons fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
Peel of 1 orange, most white pith removed

Heat water in a small, nonreactive saucepan until hot. Add salt and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Remove from heat. Add all the above aromatics and let cool to room temperature. Pour brine over chops in a nonreactive dish or large Ziploc bag. Brine chops for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Rhubarb Compote
12 ounces fresh trimmed or frozen sliced rhubarb
2 medium shallots, peeled and minced
½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided into 2 tbsp and 4 tbsp portions
½ cups Pinot Noir
3 tablespoons honey
¼ cups fresh orange juice
Dash of ground cardamom
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add shallots and ginger. Cook, stirring about 2 minutes. Add rhubarb and wine. Cook until rhubarb is soft, (the consistency of thick applesauce) stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 15-20 minutes over low heat. Compote should thicken as liquid reduces. Finish with the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. The sauce should be slightly sweet and the butter should minimize the sharpness of the rhubarb. Set aside.

1 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
½ teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

To Finish the Dish
Remove chops from brine and dry well with paper towels. No need to season meat because the brine should suffice. Either pan fry or grill chops.
Timing depends on the thickness of the chops. Temperature should reach 140° F. Serve chops on top of a portion of the rhubarb compote and top with a sprinkling of gremolata.

This dish shows beautifully when accompanied by a combination of peas (English or sugar snap) and quartered tiny Japanese turnips. Crispy roasted new potatoes round out the meal. Rhubarb, peas, Japanese turnips, and new potatoes are all ingredients that appear in the market in the Spring, just in time to enjoy with your Williams Selyem Spring allocation.

This recipe was developed to showcase the inaugural release of our Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.