1. Combine 2 cups water, salt, sugar and all spices to a boil in large saucepan.
2. Stir in ice until melted to cool brine. Once all ice is melted, pour over pork chops in pan, making sure they are completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.
3. Heat oven to 400°F.. Remove chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
4. Heat oil in large oven-safe skillet over medium; sear chops 4 minutes per side. Place pan in oven for about 5 1/2 minutes until internal temperature reaches 145°F. to 160°F.. Let stand 3 minutes before serving.
5. Serve chops with rice, cabbage salad and mole sauce
1 head green cabbage, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
5 limes, juiced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jar cueritos (pickled pork rind), optional
1. Place all ingredients in serving bowl; toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Red Mole Sauce
13 dried chiles (guajillo, ancho and chili de arbol), stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup dried cherries
3 cups boiling water
5 tablespoons lard or olive oil, divided
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 red onion, diced
2 cups day-old bread cubes
1/2 cup almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 beefsteak tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup Mexican chocolate (La Abuelita or Ibarra brand)
Salt and pepper
2. Heat oven to 400°F. Fry chiles and dried cherries in 1 tablespoon lard to char, about 1 minute. Place in bowl and pour boiling water over top. Cover and let stand 15 minutes to soften.
3. Melt remaining 1/4 cup lard in stockpot over medium-high. Add garlic, onion, bread cubes, almonds and sesame seeds; sauté until seeds are toasted and onion has softened. Pour onto baking sheet.
4. Bake veggie/bread/nut mixture for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes to baking sheet; roast an additional 3 minutes.
5. Drain chiles and cherries and place in blender, reserving liquid. Add veggie/bread/nut mixture to the blender; add enough chile liquid to puree mixture smooth. May do this in batches if needed.
6. Place pureed chile mixture in saucepan; stir in honey, cinnamon, thyme and oregano. Simmer 15 minutes. Stir in chocolate; season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Store leftovers in covered container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.