These moist and flavorful pork chops start off in a sweet cider brine before getting grilled over high heat, then topped with a warm apple-pear compote.
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Rinse the pork chops and pat them dry.
Make the Brine: In a large saucepan, combine the salt with 2 cups of warm water. Place the pan over medium-high heat and warm until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat, then add apple cider, spices and ginger. Stir to combine the ingredients and allow them to steep for a few minutes, then add enough ice to cool the brine to room temperature. Once the brine is cool, add enough cool water to equal 3 quarts of liquid. At this point you can store the brine in the refrigerator for a few days or use it immediately.
Place the pork chops in a lidded glass dish or large resealable bag that seals well. Pour the brine over the chops and ensure they are submerged. Allow the pork chops to sit in the brine for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
One hour before grilling, remove the pork chops from the brine. Rinse them under cool water and pat dry. Discard the brine. Allow the pork chops to sit at room temperature for an hour.
While the chops come up to temperature, make the compote. In a large chef’s pan or nonstick skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the minced shallot and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the apples and pears and another pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples have softened enough to be pierced with a knife, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spices and thyme leaves and stir to coat the fruit.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the apple cider vinegar. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any caramelized fruit on the bottom of the pan to incorporate those flavors into the sauce. Add the chicken stock and apple cider and bring to a simmer, then reduce to medium-low and cook until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard and the final tablespoon of butter. Taste, adding more salt if necessary.
When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 500°F and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
Brush the pork chops with olive oil.
Place the pork chops directly on the grill grate and cook for 7 minutes without opening the grill. Flip the pork chops and cook another 5 to 12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork chops reach 150°F. Remove the chops from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve each pork chop with a generous spoonful of the fall-spiced apple pear compote.