Cooking with Juniper - Aviation American Gin

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Cooking with Juniper

Pork
When people think of juniper, they often think of pine trees. Often overlooked in the kitchen, juniper, when used well, can be a really lovely flavor in food. I love the structure that juniper offers Aviation American Gin and thought it could have similar properties on my dinner plate.
I found this recipe from a 2013 Bon Appetit and while I changed it a lot, I bet this version is delicious too.
My much altered recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 head of garlic cut in half, plus two unpeeled cloves
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 pork chops, bone in
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add salt, sugar, juniper, peppercorns, garlic half, and 2 sprigs of thyme. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  2. Pour mixture into a bowl large enough to hold your pork and the mixture. Add 5 cups of ice cubes. Stir until ice cubes have melted and brine has cooled. Add the pork. Cover and chill for about 12 hours.
  3. When ready to cook, remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Heat oil in skillet (I used a cast-iron pan). Cook chops until they reach 135 degrees, turning every few minutes so as not to over brown.
  5. Remove pan from heat and add in butter, unpeeled garlic and remaining thyme sprigs. Stir until butter has melted (add back to heat if needed). Turn chops over in pan to coat both sides with the glaze.
  6. Allow pork to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

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