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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Perfect Pork Chops with Zesty Gremolata (Gluten-Free)

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 03/18/2014 - Brining is a common culinary trick for getting really plump, tender, flavorful meat. Many people know that brining works great for holiday turkeys, but brining also works great for regular home cooking.

    Photo: CC--Stu SpivackGremolata is an Italian condiment similar to a chimichurri sauce. Gremolata is usually made with lemon zest, garlic, and chopped herbs, such as parsley, mint and even rosemary and sage. Gremolata is commonly served with to the Milanese braised veal shank dish ossobuco alla milanese. In Milan, especially, gremolata often includes anchovies.

    In this dish, anchovy-free and gluten-free gremolata makes a delicious compliment to the succulent brined pork chops.


    • 2 to 4 double-thick-cut bone-in pork chops
    • Olive oil


    • 5 cups water
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 4 strips of lemon peel
    • 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
    • 3 bay leaves, crumbled
    • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
    • 1 sprig fresh thyme


    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
    • 1 tablespoons grated fresh lemon zest
    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic


    For best results, prepare the brine and start soaking the chops a couple of days in advance.

    To prepare the brine, put one cup of water in a small saucepan, and add the crumbled bay leaves, coriander seeds, thyme, and lemon peel. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.

    Let sit for a few minutes.

    Add the remaining quart of water. Stir in the sugar and salt until they dissolve and the water is basically clear.

    Place the chops in a freezer bag and pour in the brine.

    Seal and refrigerate for 2 days.

    To Cook:
    About an hour before cooking,

    Pull out the pork chops, rinse them with cold water, and pat them dry.

    To keep the chops from curling when they cook, score the outside rim of fat by cutting just to the edge of the meat at one inch intervals.

    Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil.

    Heat to medium to medium high.

    Make sure the chops are dry, and coat them lightly with oil.

    Get the pan hot and place the chops in the pan.

    Brown chops on each side.

    Once browned, flip again, reduce the heat, and cook until internal temperature reads 145°F.

    Note that. because of the sugar in the brine, the chops may brown very quickly. Move them around the pan as needed to keep them from darkening too much.

    When done, remove the chops from the pan, tent with foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the gremolata.

    Make the gremolata by combining minced parsley, grated fresh lemon zest, and minced garlic in a small bowl.

    Serve on the side with the pork chops.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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