PREP TIME: 5 mins
COOK TIME: 20 mins
For the brine:
- 5 cups water
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp salt
- 3 bay leaves, broken into pieces
- 1/2 tsp coriander seed, lightly crushed
- 1 sprig thyme
- 4 wide strips lemon peel
For the chops:
- 4 (1- to 1 1/4-inch thick) pork chops, preferably bone-in
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed & peeled
- 8 to 12 sage leaves
- 4 (1/4-inch thick) lemon slices
For the greens:
- 4 big handfuls stemmed greens (chard, kale, or mustard greens), coarsely chopped, rinsed.
- In a small saucepan combine 1 cup of water, sugar, salt, bay leaves, coriander seed, thyme, & lemon peel. Bring to a simmer over med heat, stirring to dissolve the salt & sugar. Then, remove from heat.
- Fill a 4-cup measuring cup w/2-3 cups of ice cubes & add enough cold water to measure 4 cups. Add to the saucepan w/the brine & stir until the ice has melted (this helps to quickly cool the brine).
- Place chops in 1-gallon zipper freezer bag. Place bag in a bowl & pour cooled brine into the bag. Seal bag & refrigerate for 8 hours, or for up to 2 days.
- When ready to cook, remove chops from the brine & pat dry w/a paper towel. Set another paper towel on a small plate for the sage leaves & lemon slices.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chops & cook for 2 mins on a side, or until starting to brown. Continue to cook the chops, turning about every minute, for 4 to 6 mins longer, or until the chops are deep golden brown & an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 135°F.
- Transfer chops to a plate, cover loosely w/foil to keep warm & let rest for at least 5 mins. The temperature of the chops will tick up to 145°F, the recommended temperature for cooked pork, as it sits.
- Keep 3 tbsps of fat in the pan & return to heat, adding sage, garlic, & lemon.
- Tilt the skillet so the pan drippings are on one side & move the sage leaves to the drippings. Fry leaves for 20-30 secs. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate.
- W/pan flat on the burner, continue cooking garlic & lemon slices, turning often, for another 2 to 3 mins, until lemon slices are charred.
- Transfer garlic & lemon slices to the paper towel-lined plate w/sage leaves. Discard garlic & save lemon slices to garnish the chops.
- W/pan over med-high heat, add greens. Cook, turning often, for 3 -4 mins.
- Divide greens between the plates. Place a pork chop atop the greens, a lemon slice, & some crispy sage leaves, and serve.