Cider Brined Pork Chops With Cider Sauce

These Cider Brined Pork Chops use apple juice and apple cider vinegar so not to worry if you can’t easily source apple cider itself.

You have to brine the chops overnight so you need to start early. Brining makes the pork chops stay nice and moist and adds a hint of additional flavours.

Pork nowadays is so lean that it can be on the dry and tough side. Not these!

I used my dutch oven with the lid to brine them.

The sauce sounds very simple but it is amazingly good. Don’t let the simplicity fool you!

Chef’s Tips

  1. I served them with these Maple Glazed Turnips and the combination was really, really, really good! The pan juices (ie sauce) really add a depth of flavour that you will love.
  2. I used really thick pork chops from Costco so they were kinda like steaks! That helps to keep them moist as well.
  3. Kosher or Coarse Sea Salt vs regular sea salt – The coarse sea salt grains leave a lot of air space between them so the sodium value is less than the same measure of a fine salt. If you can’t use coarse salt then use only half the amount of regular salt.
  4. Brine time – the recipe says overnight. Shoot for somewhere between 12 and 24 hours.
  5. Sage sprigs… if your sage comes in separate leaves use 3 or 4 to make up the ‘sprig’ amount.
Grilled pork chop with sage butter garnish on a plate with glazed turnips

Wine Pairing

We enjoyed a rich, oaked Chardonnay with these and it was a match made in heaven. Look for one that is described as Rich and Full -bodied (not Light and Crisp). A ripe, rich Chardonnay will very possibly have ripe, orchard appled flavours of its own to complement the dish.

Another good choice would be a Chenin Blanc. Again – look for rich, full-bodied description rather than light and crisp.

Red fans should look for an unoaked, low tannin wine like a Rhone GSM blend or Spanish Grenache dominated blend.

Grilled pork chop with sage butter garnish on a plate

Cider Brined Pork Chops With Cider Sauce

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings



  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 3 Tbsps golden brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tbsps kosher salt (or coarse sea salt)
  • 8 sage leaves bruised
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, halved
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried ginger or 1/4 " slice of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns

Pork Chops

  • 4 pork rib shops 1-1/4" thick
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 4 fresh sage leaves cut into thin strips sideways


  • 3 Tbsps golden brown sugar packed
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup beef broth


Poek Chops

  • Combine the brine ingredients in a dutch oven large enough to hold the brine and eventually the chops. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve salt. Let the brine cool before adding the chops. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to cook drain the brine off the chops and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sprinkle the chops with black pepper. Heat 2 Tbsps oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add pork in single layer and brown about 3 minutes on each side.
  • Add 1 Tbsp butter and sage to the skillet. Baste the chops with the butter. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until internal temperature is 145 degrees F. This may take 30 minutes or so if you chops are thick. Remove pork from oven, cover them loosely and allow them to rest about 3 minutes.


  • In a small saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat until melted and deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Mixture will be thick. Be careful not to burn. Add the vinegar and stir until hardened sugar dissolves. Add the broth and sage. Boil until mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup. This may take 10-20 minutes depending on the size of your sauce pan. You can make the sauce a day ahead, chill and reheat just before serving.
  • Transfer chops and pan juices to a serving platter. Drizzle the sauce over the chops and serve.


Cider Brined Pork Chops With Cider Sauce

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