Dry-Brined Pork Chops 6.000

Amanda Voisard for The Washington Post

Aug 21, 2013

This dish is inspired by the flavors in Italian sausage.

Make Ahead: Leftover spice rub can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months. The pork chops need to be dry-brined (resting in the refrigerator) for at least 1 day and up to 2 days.

Servings: 6
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled (optional)
  • 6 bone-in, 1-inch thick pork chops, preferably heritage (10 to 13 ounces each; see headnote)
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • 2 ounces washed arugula, for serving


Combine the salt, peppercorns, fennel seed, crushed red pepper flakes and the bay leaf, if using, in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Grind just long enough for the spices to break down.

Rub one-third to half the mixture on to the pork chops, covering both sides, then transfer to a few zip-top bags, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing.

Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat two large cast-iron or ovenproof skillets over medium-high heat. If the pork chops are not heritage, swirl a little oil into the skillets. (If you have only one suitable skillet, heat a large roasting pan in the oven.

Working in batches, sear the pork chips until nicely browned, about 3 minutes per side. Do not crowd the pans. Transfer to the oven (or roasting pan). Check for doneness after 3 minutes; the internal temperature, taken away from the bone, should register 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Rest the meat while you arrange arugula on each plate. Top each portion with a warm chop; this will slightly wilt the greens.

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Recipe Source

From FreshFarm Markets manager Juliet Glass.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.