Pork Chops with Spicy Pear Chutney

Gluten Free Brined Pork Chops with Spicy Pear Chutney Recipe

As a kid, one of my favorite dinners was pork chops and applesauce. Now that I am all grown up, I realize how so 1970’s Brady Bunch that dinner is.

It is a new decade in a new millennium and definitely time for a makeover!

Applesauce was fine when I was 8.  Now I find the sweet, one-note flavor, bland color, and baby food texture just plain boring!  These days I want texture, color and complexity of flavors; a little sweet, a little spicy and a little tangy.

Spicy Pear Chutney is just the answer!  Green Anjou pears are in season now and I figured their crisp, juicy sweetness would be a perfect complement to pork chops.  Boy was I right!  In about 15 minutes with some fresh, ripe pears, a few pantry items and a handful of dried cranberries I whipped up a side dish to make any ordinary pork chop company worthy.

This is a must try recipe!  It not only goes great with pork chops but also makes an amazing topping for pulled pork, baked chicken breasts and would even make a welcomed change as an accompaniment for your Holiday Turkey!


Gluten Free Spicy Pear Chutney


Now let’s talk pork chops. When I was a kid, they actually tasted good. But about 25 years ago, the pork industry answered the demand for leaner meat. They bred pigs to have less fat and as we all know, less fat means less flavor and drier meat. So in order to pump up the flavor and juiciness of cheap supermarket pork chops, brining is the answer! Brining is soaking meat in a salty water solution with some flavoring added.

Why it works:

Remember in 5th grade science class we learned about osmosis?  No, not smarter than a fifth grader?  That’s ok.  Simply put, water flows out of things that are less concentrated into things more highly concentrated. Brines have a higher concentration of salt than the water in the pork chop cells so the water flows out, the salt from the brining solution flows into the meat making the meat cells more concentrated so they draw the moisture back in.  You can read more about that here if you like but the bottom line is that brining makes tough, flavorless meat moist, tender and appetizing.

For my brine I used classic pork flavors; onion and sage. You can change up the flavor anyway you like with different herbs, spices and vegetables but keep in the basics of water, salt, sugar and vinegar.  They all play their part in the brining process.  The sugar will keep the pork chops from tasting too salty and the vinegar tenderizes the meat.

I bought 4 pork chops on sale for about $5.00, brined and grilled them, added my Spicy Pear Chutney and some steamed green beans and prepared a delicious dinner for 4 for under $10.00!  And aside from the brining time the whole meal was ready in about half an hour. How’s that for a new cooking show – Thirty Minute Gluten Free Meals for Under $10.00.  (Ok, the title needs work.)

Gluten Free Brined Pork Chops with Pear Chutney Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Pork Chops with Spicy Pear Chutney
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Brined Pork Chops with Spicy Pear Chutney Recipe

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Refrigerate12 hrs
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 477kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


Spicy Pear Chutney

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium sized red onion - minced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes - depending on how spicy you want it
  • 3 fresh pears - chopped

Brined Pork Chops

  • 4 cups water - use divided
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar - packed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 pork chops about ¾ inch thick
  • ½ white onion - sliced
  • 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh sage
  • Olive oil for brushing the pork chops


Spicy Pear Chutney

  • Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and minced red onion. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the dried cranberries and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and pears. Combine well. Simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the pears and cranberries have softened but the pears still retain their shape. If the mixture is too liquid, turn the heat up and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve warm.

Brined Pork Chops

  • Combine 1 cup water with the salt, brown sugar and pepper in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 3 cups of cold water and let the mixture cool. Stir in the apple cider vinegar. Pour mixture into a glass baking dish or large freezer weight plastic storage bag. Add the pork chops, onions and sage. Refrigerate for 1 – 12 hours. Even a little bit of brining is better than none.
  • Take pork chops out of the fridge and rinse them well with cold water the pat dry with paper towels. Let set for about 5 minutes before cooking.
  • Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium high heat. Brush the pork chops with olive oil and cook for 4 minutes per side (more or less depending on the thickness of the pork chops). Remove from pan, brush the top with a little more olive oil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Brined Pork Chops with Spicy Pear Chutney Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 477 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 89mg30%
Sodium 71mg3%
Potassium 713mg20%
Carbohydrates 62g21%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 49g54%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 35IU1%
Vitamin C 9.2mg11%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Brined Chutney Dinner Pear Pork Spicy
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  1. Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul
    August 26, 2010

    I've always been curious about brining…you make it look so easy that I have to try this. Love the pear chutney too Carol!

  2. The Celiac Husband
    August 26, 2010

    Of course I did NOT pay attention to Chemistry in school. I wanted to get into sales….

    The only challenge I see for me is your math…..10.00 dinner for 4?

    I'd eat those great tasting chops by myself….so it's a 10.00 dinner for one.

  3. Sandy
    August 26, 2010

    Fabulous, I've have heard about brining but never tried, thought it was too complicated. You make it sound so easy! Love the chutney idea, I'm making this this weekend :)

  4. GF Gidget
    August 26, 2010

    Drooling like you wouldn't believe!

  5. The InTolerant Chef
    August 27, 2010

    I've never had vinegar in my brining solution before, just salt,water and flavours. Is there any particular reason for it or is it for flavour too?

  6. Tasty Eats At Home
    August 31, 2010

    Love the chutney. Looks gorgeous, and a perfect step towards fall flavors. Yum.

  7. Aubree Cherie
    August 31, 2010

    This chutney is another "WOW", Carol! I would love to try it, so I've added it to my favorite recipes from last week post. Thanks!

    ~Aubree Cherie

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  10. August 20, 2014

    Hola! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

    1. Gluten Free & More
      August 28, 2014

      Well here’s my shout back from Dunedin, FL! Thanks!

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