This unique marinade & glaze combination gives ho-hum pork chops a succulent and moist texture while imparting a subtle salty-sweetness. A hint of rosemary rounds out the meat’s flavor. Best of all though, this dish is completely lacking in the usual vinegar or fruit acids in marinades. The trick is a chemical reaction that makes the meat protein absorb moisture so the chops stay juicy and flavorful during cooking.
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup hot water
1/4 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/3 cup dark rum or vodka
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
2 pork chops, medium thickness, trimmed
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Combine ingredients for marinade in a plastic bag or a covered dish, mixing well to dissolve the salt and sugar crystals. Add the two pork chops, making sure they are covered with liquid. Place in refrigerator for 45 minutes- no longer. Remove pork chops, rinse well under running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade.
Mix all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer on low for ten minutes. (Alcohol boils and evaporates at a lower temperature than water.)
Meanwhile, in a skillet brown the pork chops in vegetable oil. Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover. Reduce heat and cook until chops are thoroughly cooked.
To glaze: Turn heat to high under the skillet and pour the glaze into the skillet, scraping up browned bits and meat juices. As the glaze turns frothy, stir the liquid with a spatula and turn chops in the liquid for a minute or so. Remove chops to a platter and serve.
Note: You can vary the saltiness of the meat by increasing or decreasing the amount of salt in the marinade.