Grilled Pork Chops with Calvados Demi-Glace and Maple-Bacon Almonds
BRINED PORK CHOPS:
- 8 cups room-temperature water
- 2 cups dark amber maple syrup, such as Crown Maple
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 8 cups ice water
- Six 16- to 20-ounce bone-in double-cut pork chops
- 5 apples, halved
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup Calvados ( apple brandy)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 cloves
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon dark amber maple syrup, such as Crown Maple
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 2 tablespoons dark amber maple syrup, such as Crown Maple
- 1 slice thick-cut bacon, cooked and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the brined pork chops: In a large container that will fit in your refrigerator, combine the room-temperature water, maple syrup and salt, stirring until the salt dissolves. Stir in the ice water. Add the pork chops and refrigerate for 24 hours.
For the Calvados demi-glace: Combine the apples, stock, Calvados, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 1 hour. Strain the sauce into a small saucepan. Place over low heat and swirl in the butter with a spoon. Stir in the maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper.
For the maple-bacon almonds: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the egg white in a stainless-steel bowl and beat with a whisk until it forms soft peaks. Add the almonds, maple syrup, bacon and salt and mix well. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes, stir, and continue to bake for another 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Coarsely chop the almonds.
To serve: Preheat a grill to high and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry. Sprinkle with pepper and grill until they have grill marks on both sides, about 4 minutes. Place the chops on a pan and bake in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each registers 140 degrees F, about 40 minutes. To serve, place the chops on plates. Gently reheat the Calvados demi-glace if necessary and drizzle on the chops. Sprinkle with almonds.