Orange and Fennel Brined Pork Chops with Compressed Pineapple Salsa

Chris Jay
Chris Jay
December 6, 2022
Here’s my 16-hour brined pork chop with compressed pineapple salsa made using Anova’s Chamber Vacuum Sealer. Pre-searing the pork chops before cooking them in the Precision Oven allows for the development of a beautifully browned crust with perfect edge-to-edge medium doneness. Notes: The prep time includes a lot of hands-off time: 16 hours to brine the pork, 1 hour to steep syrup, and 2 hours to rest the salsa. If you don’t have a chamber vacuum sealer, you can make a quick, non-compressed version of the salsa by combining the same amount of pineapple, bell pepper, shallot, cilantro, lime juice, and zest. Season to taste with salt and sugar before serving.
Serves
4
Prep Time
20:00
Cook Time
00:15
0
16
Ingredients
4.75 cups
water, divided
Juice of 2 navel oranges
½ cup plus 1 tsp
kosher salt, divided
1
carrot, cut into medium dice
1 stalk
celery, cut into medium dice
3
shallots, cut into small dice, divided
2 cloves
garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp
fennel seeds
1 tsp
black peppercorns
1
bay leaf
4 (12-ounce)
bone-in pork chops
½ cup
granulated sugar
2 whole
star anise
1
cinnamon stick
1
pineapple, skinned and cored
1
red bell pepper, cut into small dice
1 Tbsp
finely chopped fresh cilantro
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp
vegetable oil, divided
2 Tbsp
unsalted butter, divided
Steps

1. Make the Brine

In a medium pot, combine 4 ¼ cups of the water with the orange juice, ½ cup of the salt, carrot, celery, 2 of the shallots, garlic, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, and bay leaf. Bring the liquid up to a simmer over medium-high heat, then remove from the heat and set aside until cool.
Make the Brine

2. Brine the Pork

Transfer the brine to a storage container and add the pork chops. Cover and refrigerate for 16 hours.
Brine the Pork

3. Make the Pineapple Syrup

A few hours before you’re ready to eat, combine the remaining ½ cup water with the sugar, star anise, cinnamon, and remaining teaspoon salt in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the syrup has a very light golden colour, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour.
Make the Pineapple Syrup

4. Compress the Pineapple

Cut the pineapple into quarters and transfer to a chamber vacuum pouch. Pour ½ cup of the spiced syrup into the vacuum pouch. (Reserve any remaining syrup for another use, such as a cocktail.) Place in the Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer and run the Infuse/Extract setting once. Next, run the strong vacuum once. (If making ahead, you can seal the bag using the normal seal settings and refrigerate until ready to use.) Remove the pineapple from the bag, reserving any remaining syrup for another use, and cut the pineapple into small dice.
Compress the Pineapple

5. Make the Salsa

In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple, red pepper, remaining shallot, cilantro, and lime zest and juice. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
Make the Salsa

6. Preheat the Oven and Prepare Pan

Rack
Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: Off
Temp: 350°F
Heat: Top, Rear

7. Dry the Pork

Remove the pork from the brine and place on a second sheet pan lined with paper towels. Pat dry.
Dry the Pork

8. Pre-Sear the Pork

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add half of the pork and sear, flipping regularly, until beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and continue to sear, basting constantly, for 2 minutes. Transfer to the foil-lined pan. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining pork, oil, and butter.
Pre-Sear the Pork

9. Finish Pork in Oven

Rack
Insert the probe into the thickest pork chop. Transfer to the oven, attach the probe, and cook until the probe reaches its target temperature, about 15 minutes.
Finish Pork in Oven
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: Off
Temp: 350°F
Heat: Top, Rear
145°F Probe Target

10. Rest and Serve

Let the pork rest for 5 minutes. Serve topped with pineapple salsa.
Rest and Serve
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