Directions for Pork Chops
1. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of the water to a boil. Add the salt and sugar to the boiling water stirring over high heat until they are dissolved. Chill the remaining 3 cups water in the freezer or with ice cubes. Add the salt and sugar mixture to the cold water. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, and black pepper. Chill the brine in the refrigerator.
2. Place the pork in a stainless steel bowl, a glazed ceramic dish, or a resealable plastic bag big enough to fully submerge the pork in the brine. Pour the brine over the pork, making sure the pork is completely covered in liquid. If you’re using an open dish or bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and weigh it down with a plate if necessary to keep the meat submerged.
3. Chill for at least 1 hour, or for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
4. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place a cast iron, stainless steel, or other ovenproof skillet in the oven on the center rack.
5. Take the pork out of the refrigerator and remove the meat from the brine solution. Pat the meat dry, season it with additional salt and pepper, and set it on the counter until the oven is ready. Discard the brine.
6. When the oven reaches 400F, carefully remove the hot skillet and place it over medium-high heat on the stovetop, leaving the oven on. Add the olive oil to the pan and lay the pork chops in the center about an inch apart. Sear for about 3 minutes, or until the undersides of the pork chops have a golden crust.
7. Flip the pork chops and immediately place the pan in the oven. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the center of the pork chops is just barely pink and registers 140-145F on an instant read thermometer.
8. Place the pork chops on a plate and tent with foil while you plate the rest of your meal. Spoon some of the pan juices over the pork chops before serving.
Note: Leftover pork with keep covered in the fridge for sandwiches the next day.
Directions for Onions
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. In large 7 x 11 inch baking dish, combine the balsamic vinegar, oil, thyme, rosemary, salt and onion wedges and toss to coat.
3. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the onions are caramelized and fork tender, stirring once halfway through.
4. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining dressing.