Maple-Brined Grilled Pork Chops with Calvados Demi-Glace and Maple-Bacon Almonds!
You voted for it during the Crown Maple Challenge as part of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, and it won. So how could we not share the recipe?
“Josh Kroner’s entree winner, Maple-Brined Grilled Pork Chop with Calvados Demi-Glace and Maple-Bacon Almonds, had been on and off his menu in various incarnations for seven years. The chef/owner of Terrapin, in Rhinebeck, teamed with his executive sous chef Dan Behnken to create the winning recipes. Using maple in three ways, the dish has a complex of flavors and textures, something Kroner has experimented with over the years. “I started doing a pork chop with Calvados,” Kroner says. “Three or four years ago I started maple brining it, and then Dan and I developed the recipe for the maple bacon almonds tapas.”
The addition of the nuts to the maple-brined pork added interest and texture, he says and “the textural component totally enhanced it. I used to sweeten the Calvados demi-glace with apple juice concentrate, but it’s better with the Crown Maple syrup. We’re totally happy with it.”
And so were his customers. The entree proved to be the most popular dish on Terrapin’s menu during Restaurant Week.” – The Valley Table, June 2012
These pork chops take full advantage of the rich flavor of Crown Maple’s dark amber maple syrup. First, the chops are soaked in a brine made from Crown Maple and sea salt. Next, the rich Calvados demi-glace is finished with Crown Maple to accentuate the apple and spice notes. Finally, the dish is finished with chopped maple-bacon nuts that provide a little crunch and Crown Maple’s dark amber syrup which highlights the toasted almond flavor.
Terrapin Maple-Brined Grilled Pork Chops with Calvados Demi-Glace and Maple-Bacon Almonds
6 ea. 16-20 ounce pork chops
½ gallon water, room temperature
½ gallon ice water
½ cup sea salt
2 cups Crown Maple dark amber syrup
Mix room temperature water with salt and maple syrup. Add ice water and pork chops. Place in a container that will fit in your refrigerator. Keep refrigerated for 24 hours.
Calvados – Apple Demi-Glace:
2 quarts chicken stock
5 ea. apples
½ cup Calvados
3 ea. cinnamon sticks
5 ea. cloves
1 tablespoon Crown Maple dark amber syrup
1 tablespoon butter
To taste salt and pepper
Cut the apples in half and place in a large heavy bottom saucepan along with the stock, Calvados, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil on high heat and continue to boil until the stock is reduced to approximately 1 cup. This might take an hour, depending on the amount of heat the pan is on. When the sauce appears to be close, reduce heat to low, so not to over reduce. Strain sauce through a fine strainer and add the butter by swirling in with a spoon, and then add the maple syrup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve sauce.
1 cup whole almonds
1 ea. egg
2 tablespoons Crown Maple dark amber syrup
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 slice thick sliced bacon, cooked and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350º. Separate the egg, placing the white in a stainless steel bowl and reserving the yolk for another use. Whip the egg white with a whisk until it forms soft peaks. Add almonds, maple syrup, salt, and chopped bacon and mix well. Spread evenly over a baking pan. Cook for 12 minutes, mixing almonds to promote even cooking after 6 minutes. Remove from oven and cool, then coarsely chop and reserve.
Remove pork chops from brine and dry with towel. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and cook on a hot grill until both sides are evenly marked. Place chops in 350º oven and cook to an internal temperature of 150º. To serve, place one chop on a plate and pour 4 tablespoons of sauce over and sprinkle with the chopped almonds.
Enjoy – let us know how they turn out!