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Salt-Crusted Pork Chops. Photo by Alison Shaw.

Best if made a day in advance, brine can be kept in the refrigerator for an extended period of time if the fresh herb sprigs are removed. This recipe makes 1 gallon.

1 cup seasonal fruits, or their nectar/juice: apples, peaches, pears; if no fruit, 2-3 Tbsp. sugar
3 qts. cool water
2 cups raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
2 Tbsp. sees, any combination of coriander, caraway, mustard and dill
1 tsp. dried red chili flakes
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
3-4 sprigs fresh herbs: rosemary, savory or thyme
1/2 cup salt, dissolved in 1 cup warm water

Coarsely chop or mash the fruit and place in a nonreactive container. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

3 qts. for one 4-5 lb. picnic ham
1-2 qts. for one roast
1 qt. for 1 lb. shanks
1 cup for one 8 oz. pork chop