Pork reigned supreme on Germany's menus during a trip there, but often as heavy roasts or smothered chops. The staple street food in Berlin, currywurst, is a pork sausage with French fries drowned in a kind of curried ketchup. It's sometimes but not always served with a bun and it's generally inhaled with beer. When I came home, I tried to imagine a German menu as I would like to have seen it: lighter and healthier but still full of flavour. Here, using the concepts and products of German cuisine, is my alternative version.
Pork can often be dry, so I usually give it a quick soak in a brine to make it juicier. Serve these pork chops with beet conserve, broccoli and (very German) steamed potatoes.
Pork and brine
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons chili flakes
3 cups water
4 boneless pork loin chops, 1-inch-thick if possible
¼ cup German or Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons chopped dill
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup sour cream
Place kosher salt, sugar, bay leaf, peppercorns, chili flakes and water in a pot over high heat. Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar. Cool and pour over pork chops to cover. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator or for at least a couple of hours. Remove pork from brine and pat dry.
Preheat grill to high. Combine mustards, honey and dill in a bowl. Brush 3 tablespoons mustard mixture over pork chops, reserving remaining mustard mixture for garnish. Season with pepper, place pork on grill and grill for 5 minutes a side or until just slightly pink in the centre.
Add sour cream to reserved mustard mixture and serve with pork chops.