Ascia di Maiale (Roasted Bone in Pork Chop)

– courtesy Ritorno, Oakville

Ascia di Maiale (Roasted Bone in Pork Chop)

4 bone in pork chops

For the Brine:
6 cups water
¼ cup sugar
1 oz brown sugar
¾ cup kosher salt
2 tbsp mustard seed
½ white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
½ bunch sage
1 tbsp black peppercorns
½ bunch thyme
1 sprig rosemary

Place all ingredients in a suitably sized stock pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cool completely prior to brining. Submerge the chops in the brine and allow to sit for a minimum of two hours but preferably six.

For the Compound Butter:
¼ lb unsalted butter
1 tsp garlic purée
2 tbsp roasted garlic purée
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp grated Grana Padano
2 tbsp green onions, sliced thinly
2 tbsp parsley, chopped

Allow garlic and butter to sit at room temperature until softened. Mix together with remaining ingredients. Stir over an ice bath until desired consistency is reached. Spread generously and roll into a log with parchment paper.  Place into the fridge or freezer to set, approximately one hour.

For the Polenta:
6 oz cornmeal
2 tbsp unsalted butter
½ tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 litre 2% milk
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup, grated Grana Padano cheese

Place butter, milk, salt and pepper in a suitably sized sauce pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in the corn meal, lower the heat and stir until it reaches desired consistency. Add in the goat's cheese and Grana Padano, stir until the cheese has incorporated, pour mixture into a shallow pan and place in the fridge to set. Appoximately two hours.

For the Herb Rub:
1 tbsp cracked black pepper
1 cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup rosemary, chopped
1/3 cup, sage, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup coarse sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix together all the ingredients and place in a shallow pan or plate to crust the chops. Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove chops from brine and pat dry. Push the chops into the herb rub and coat well. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet and sear the chops on both sides until they've achieved a little colour. Place the chops in the oven, they should take approximately 15 minutes to get to medium doneness. Cut the polenta into one-inch cubes, toss them in a little seasoned all purpose flour place in a deep fryer at 350°F until they have begun to brown. Remove the chops from the oven, top with a few thin slices of the compound butter and serve with the fried polenta and seasonal vegetables of your choice. Serves 4.