Author Notes: Unless it contains some sort of alcohol, I'm not much a tea drinker. The exception is oolong, which I find so utterly drinkable I've often foregone a second whiskey sour at my favorite Chinese restaurant. The bartender there is really good, too. Anyway, here, the smoky floral tea marries beautifully with the rosemary to create a delicate brine that keeps those lovely lean pork chops from drying out when they hit the grill. —wssmom
6 cups oolong tea, brewed with 8 oolong tea bags or a similar amount of loose tea
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves bruised a bit to release their flavor
10 peppercorns, slightly crushed
4 inch-thick boneless pork chops, preferably organic
- Add the sugar, salt, rosemary and peppercorns to the tea and let cool. (If you're pressed for time, brew the tea double strength and cool it down with some ice cubes). Immerse the pork chops in the brine and refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If it goes a little longer, that's OK.
- When ready, fire up the grill. Remove the chops form the brine and pat dry. Grill over high heat until you see the sides of the chops beginning to get done, flip, and cook on the other side for the same amount of time, maybe 4-5 minutes a side depending on the heat of your grill. You can check the temperature at this point; the FDA says 145 degrees is good so a little shy of that works fine because they will continue to cook. Remove and let sit for 5-7 minutes before serving with roasted potatoes and something green. If you'd like an elegant echo, drink some iced oolong with it; if not, Tsingtao is equally lovely.