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December Thirst Club Recipes

Posted by Abby Kellie on

Quick Cider-Brined Pork Chops with Mustard Seed

Serves 2

I served this quick and easy meal with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. It would, in my opinion, make a perfect meal to make mid-week on a blustery December evening. It's fast, it's tasty and boy oh boy that whole seed mustard makes the flavors pop! I want it on everything.


  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 thick-cut boneless pork chops (about 1 ½ inches thick)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ¼ cup American Spoon Whole Seed Mustard


  1. In a bowl whisk kosher salt into cider until dissolved (you may need to warm the cider to help dissolve the salt). Cool your brine, it’s okay if it’s at room temp, but no warmer. Add pork chops to brine and let sit on the counter, flipping occasionally about an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove pork from cider and pat dry, reserve cider. Season pork chops with salt and pepper.
  3. Put a medium cast iron skillet on over medium heat. Once hot add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. Add pork chops and cook until brown on the first side, about 3 minutes, flip, let cook another 2 minutes then pop into the preheated oven to finish. Cook until internal temperature is 145-150 degrees, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, place on plate and tent with foil to keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
  4. Put the pan back on the stove top and heat to medium heat. Add reserved cider and cook until reduced by about half (about 8 minutes), add the whole seed mustard and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and some freshly cracked black pepper. Stir in gently so butter is incorporated but mustard seeds don’t get broken up. Remove from heat and serve with over pork chops.

Harissa Roasted Leg of Lamb

Serves 6

This lamb recipe would be amazing for Christmas dinner. Served with some potatoes gratin and some green beans - perfection. It's rich and filling, don't plan on doing much physical activity later.


  • 1 leg of lamb, 4-5 lbs
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste, like Moulins Mahjoub or DEA
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Handful of rosemary stalks
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into quarters (skin left on)
  • 2 carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat the oven to the highest it will go. Put garlic, onion, and carrots in the bottom of a roasting pan.
  2. Lightly score the lamb leg and place it on top of the vegetables
  3. Mix harissa paste, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
  4. Smear the harissa paste over the meat and season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Tightly seal the whole tray with heavy-duty aluminum foil ensuring it is tightly sealed. Place in the hot oven and leave for 5 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and leave it to roast for 4 hours. After 4 hours remove and let the meat rest, covered for about 20 minutes before carving and serving. It literally falls off the bone.
  6. To make a sauce, put roasting pan onto the stove top over medium heat, skim the oil from the top. Remove the garlic and onion from pan, squeeze roasted garlic cloves from their papery skin and add back into pan. Add beef stock and simmer, smashing garlic and carrots left in pan into a paste and stirring them into the stock to create a thick, rich sauce. Finish with a tablespoon of butter and season with more salt and pepper if required.

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