• 4 porterhouse (bone-in loin) pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1/3 cup table salt, OR fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, OR 2 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled hard apple cider, (1 12-oz bottle) OR apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups ice water
  • 2 teaspoons red hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, divided
In a small saucepan, stir 1 cup water with salt, 1/3 cup of maple syrup, and dried thyme over medium heat until salt dissolves and water is hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat. Add cider, ice water and 1 teaspoon hot sauce and stir until ice dissolves to create brine.

Put chops in a self-sealing plastic bag, pour in brine, and seal bag. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, no longer. In small bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup syrup and 1 teaspoon hot sauce; set aside.

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat (about 450 degrees F.). Remove chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Grill chops over direct heat until the internal temperature reaches between 145 degrees F. (medium rare) and 160 degrees F. (medium), on a meat thermometer, 4 to 5 minutes per side. During the last 2 minutes, brush chops on both sides with remaining syrup mixture. Remove chops from the grill and let rest for 3 minutes.

Serves 4
If you like, you can substitute dried rosemary or sage for thyme, or combine all three. You can also substitute 3/4 cup each apple juice and dry white wine or apple cider for hard apple cider. A sweet potato salad and fresh succotash would be nice side dishes for these chops.

Calories: 290 calories

Protein: 39 grams

Fat: 7 grams

Sodium: 730 milligrams

Cholesterol: 125 milligrams

Saturated Fat: 2 grams

Carbohydrates: 15 grams

Fiber: 0 grams