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Maple-Brined Grilled Pork Chop


Chef Josh Kroner of Terrapin Restaurant won the entree category and took the Gold Crown Prize for his Maple-brined grilled pork chops with Calvados demi-glace and maple-bacon almonds in the 2012 Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Chef’s Challenge sponsored by Crown Maple and The Valley Table. Using maple three ways, the dish has a complex of flavors and textures. The entree proved to be the most popular dish on his menu during Restaurant Week and is now a restaurant staple.

Serves 6


The Brine

  • 6 16-20 ounce pork chops
  • 1/2 gallon water, room temperature
  • 1/2 gallon ice water
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 2 cups Crown Maple dark amber syrup

Calvados-Apple Demi Glace

  • ​2 quarts chicken stock
  • 5 apples
  • 1/2 cup Calvados
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tbsp Crown Maple dark amber syrup
  • 1tbsp butter
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Maple-Bacon almonds

  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp Crown Maple dark amber syrup
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 thick sliced bacon, cooked and finely chopped


The Brine 

  1. Mix room temperature water with salt and maple syrup. Add ice water and pork chops. Place in a container that will fit in your refrigerator. Keep refrigerated for 24 hours.

Calvados-Apple Demi Glace

  1. Cut the apples in half and place in a large heavy bottom saucepan along with the stock, Calvados, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil on high heat and continue to boil until the stock is reduced to approximately 1 cup. This might take an hour, depending on the amount of heat the pan is on. When the sauce appears to be close, reduce heat to low, so not to over reduce. Add the butter by swirling in with a spoon, and then add the maple syrup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve sauce 

Maple-bacon almonds​

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate the egg, placing the white in a stainless steel bowl and reserving the yolk for another use. Whip the egg white with a whisk until it forms soft peaks. Add almonds, maple syrup, salt, and chopped bacon and mix well. Spread evenly over a baking pan. Cook for 12 minutes, mixing almonds to promote even cooking after 6 minutes. Remove from oven and cool, then coarsely chop and reserve. 

Final Preparation

  1. Remove pork chops from brine and dry with towel. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and cook on a hot grill until both sides are evenly marked. Place chops in 350 degrees oven and cook to an internal temperature of 150 degrees. To serve, place one chop on a plate and pour 4 tablespoons of sauce over and sprinkle with the chopped almonds. 


Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!