Brined, Grilled Pork Chops with Tarragon-Grape Salad

Fresh and unique, peppery tarragon-grape salad with ricotta salata is a versatile accompaniment to pork, chicken or fish. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Adapted from Jamie Oliver in Jamie's Kitchen.

About the author: Jennifer Olvera is a veteran food and travel writer and author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago." Follow her on Twitter @olverajennifer.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Brined, Grilled Pork Chops with Tarragon-Grape Salad

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:1 hour, 20 minutes
Special equipment:Grill
This recipe appears in: Sunday Supper: Brined, Grilled Pork Chops with Tarragon-Grape Salad


  • For the Pork:
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, 1 1/2- to 2-inches thick (about 2 pounds total)
  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • For the Salad:
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 cups seedless green grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces crumbled ricotta salata or feta
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. 1

    Place pork chops in a reasealable bag. Add water, sugar, salt, thyme, garlic and bay leaf. Seal bag and squish liquid around to combine. Place in the refrigerator for one hour. Meanwhile, combine onions, vinegar, and just enough water to cover in a small bowl. Season with salt and set aside to pickle.

  2. 2

    Remove pork chops from brine. Discard liquid and pat the chops dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

  3. 3

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place pork chops over hot side of grill and cook until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

  4. 4

    Move pork chops to cool side of the grill, situated with bones facing the fire. Cover and cook until meat registers 135°F on an instant read thermometer when inserted into thickest part of the chop. Remove pork from grill and let rest for 10 minutes.

  5. 5

    While the pork is resting, prepare the grape salad. Place the grapes, tarragon, and ricotta salata in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Right before serving, drain the onions, add them to the salad and toss the mixture with olive oil. Serve pork and grape salad immediately.

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