Oolong and Rosemary-Brined Boneless Pork Chops

February 18, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by Erica
  • Serves 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • inpatskitchen
  • wssmom
  • Natalie

3 Reviews

Natalie June 24, 2014
Tried this last night! Family loved it! For the same number of pork chops, I reduced the tea for the brine from 6 cups to 2 cups of Oolong instead (1 cup of hot water with 3 bags and 1 cup of ice). I also used honey instead of sugar, and added chinese 5 spice and star anise to the brine. Just before frying, I rubbed ground black pepper all over the pork chop and dipped them in chinese cooking wine (huatiaojiu). Fried it with the same timing as your grilling instructions (we don't have a grill). Thanks for the recipe! Will make it again.
inpatskitchen February 22, 2013
Hey wssmom! How do you think this would work with bone in chops? It sounds incredible but I love sucking on a bone(lol!)
wssmom February 28, 2013