Recipe: Brined pork chop

February 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A simple and delicious recipe with some fun and surprising ingredients. Exec. Chef Roland Robles of Bar Johnny Drink Kitchen in San Francisco shares this recipe.

Brined Pork Chop Recipe:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 oranges .
  • 5 cup salt
  • .5 cup peppercorns
  • 1 bunch marjoram
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 T chili flake
  • .5 gal veg broth/water
  • .5 ice
  • 4 thick cut pork loin chops bone on...1" minimum

Pork Chop Sauce:

  • 1 tblsp butter
  • 1/2 diced shallot
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup pork stock
  • 1/2 squeezed orange

Cook to nape


The thing should be brined at least eight hours, overnight is better but not more cause it will get too salty.

The pork chop should be thicker cut by the butcher, maybe one and a half inches thick or so. Bigger chops will finish juicier than thinner ones.

Bar Johnny
2209 Polk Street (at Vallejo)
San Francisco, CA 94109

About Chef Roland Robles:
Roland took a rather untraditional route to the culinary world, beginning his professional life as a percussionist before trading in the stage for the kitchen. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Robles trained in jazz studies and spent 10 years touring internationally with the rock band the Evil Mothers, all the while cooking up bold, vibrant comfort dishes for his fellow bandmates. Later, a gig led him to the Bay Area and he chose to stay.

Infatuated with the bountiful produce and invigorating restaurant scene in the Bay Area, he opted to take a gamble and see where his natural gift for cooking lead him. After landing various restaurant positions across the Bay Area, Robles was lured to two kitchens as line cook - Zax Tavern in Berkeley under Chefs Mark Drazek and Barbara Mulas, and Tablespoon in San Francisco under the tutelage of Chef Rob Riescher. During his simultaneous tenures, he was offered the position of Chef de Cuisine at Zax, and moved up the ranks where his work garnered favorable reviews. Robles was suddenly being sought for his rhythm in the kitchen, and he soon received an offer to take the helm at Vin Antico in San Rafael, California.

At Vin Antico, Robles crafted a traditional Italian trattoria menu focused on well-honed, simple flavors wrought with only the best local ingredients. Eager to impress not with pretense or overly stuffy cuisine, Robles developed a trademark sense of rustic authenticity and approachability.

After a year of success at Vin Antico, Robles joined Tablespoon's owner John Jasso at his new venture, Bar Johnny. The "drink kitchen" on Polk Street offers Robles unchecked freedom to hone his bold style. He can now draw from a wealth of influences - including his Southwestern roots -- to craft a menu of bar bites and larger plates of self-titled "city food" that, in his words, is defined as being "brash, simple, fun and easy to share."

At Bar Johnny, Robles abides by his personal philosophy of using only fresh ingredients of the highest quality from local purveyors. Standout dishes on the restaurant's seasonal menu, which encourages guests to experiment and indulge, include a Braised Beef and Strozzapreti Pasta and the Halibut Steak and Sauteed Greens.

Robles continues to play percussion in the local scene with a Latin reggae group, but with his seasonal menu of bold, unpretentious "city food" at Bar Johnny, Robles has proven that he has just as much soul in the kitchen.