For the Brined Pork Chops
1. Mix together the water, coarse salt, and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and garlic. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool..
2. When mixture is at room temperature, strain it over the pork chops (they must be completely immersed in the brine). Marinate chops in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.
3. When ready to cook, remove chops from brine and dry them with a towel. Place oil in a heavy sauté pan that's large enough to hold the chops in a single layer without crowding; place the pan over moderate heat. Add the chops. After a minute or so, using tongs, shift them slightly in the pan to make sure they're not sticking. Cook until well browned on the first side, about 8 minutes. Turn over and brown on the other side. Cook further, turning occasionally, until the chops reach an internal temperature of 137°F. Remove from pan, season, and serve immediately.
For the Red Cabbage Apple Slaw:
Cook garlic in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add cabbage, apple, cider, coriander, allspice (if using), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
Add vinegar and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
This fall meal will serve 4 comfortably.