Come On and Gimme Some Sugar… Brown Sugar Pork Chops!


Brined and glazed with brown sugar, these chops are sweet and juicy and have a little tang from some cider vinegar and grainy mustard added to the glaze. Brining time is only 3 to 4 hours, so you can have these for dinner the same day you realize you have a hankering!

I love the taste of brown sugar on, well, on most anything. The recipe calls for dark brown sugar and C&H is just fine. However, if you are near a Whole Foods or a similar store, they carry a brand called Wholesome Sweeteners which is certified organic, fair trade and all the other things that treat the planet well. But I’ll tell you what, their dark brown sugar has more molasses added back in than any brand I’ve tried. And if you like dark brown sugar, it’s because you like molasses.  And if you like molasses, you’ll love this dark brown sugar.

Today’s lesson, you guessed it, brown sugar! {{the crowd roars}} Brown sugar is simply granulated sugar that has had molasses mixed back in. That’s why it is so soft and luscious! But Jeff, did you said the molasses was added back in? Why, yes I did.  That’s because molasses is a byproduct of sugar production. To make sugar, cane juice or beet juice is boiled to a syrupy mixture to extract the sugar crystals, what is left over is molasses. Hence, the darker the brown sugar, the more molasses-y it becomes.

Brown Sugar Pork Chops

serves six

For the brine:
1 cup water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
8 whole cloves
2 star anise
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups iced water

6 center-cut pork loin chops, 1-inch thick

For the glaze:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup grainy mustard
1/4 cup bourbon
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Direct heat

For the brine: add everything but the ice water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved; then remove from the heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Stir in the ice water. Place chops in a single layer in a shallow baking pan that they just fit in. Pour the brine over the chops, cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Flip the chops over a couple times during this period. Remove the chops from the refrigerator about 45 minutes before you are ready to cook. Take them out of the brine and rinse them under cold water and pat dry. Allow them to come up to room temperature.

For the glaze: combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture is thick and syrupy. Set aside until ready to cook.

Preheat grill to high. Brush and oil the grates before cooking. Season the chops with salt and pepper and place them on the grill at a 45 degree angle to the grates and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Lift with tongs (NOT A FORK) and rotate 90 degrees and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes – this is for nice cross-hatch grill marks, if you don’t care, then just let them cook for 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Your cooking time is about 4 to 6 minutes per side depending on your grill and how long they sat at room temperature. Once you have flipped them, start hitting them with the glaze. When the second side is done cooking go ahead and flip and glaze the other side. I actually do this a couple time so that there is a nice amount of glaze, but also because you get that crusty burnt caramelization going as well… YUM!  If you are like me and enjoy a little pink in your pork, then cook them to 145°F, otherwise remove them when the internal temperature is 160°F.

Transfer to a platter and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Cheers and Happy Grilling!

SPOILER ALERT: These chops pair beautifully with the pickled spiced melon in the background, but that recipe isn’t coming until next weeks Memorial Day-palooza!

Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Chops


One response to “Come On and Gimme Some Sugar… Brown Sugar Pork Chops!

  1. Really interesting about the brown sugar. I’m going to look out for it. I’ve been using “organic” brown sugar just because it doesn’t get as hard as the usual stuff. I’m going to try this in my next batch of bacon.
    Meantime, the pork chops sound wonderful!

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