Weekly Winnter: Glorious, Glazed Pork … with a kick

sweet & Spicy Pork chopsI’ve made no secret of my deep, abiding love of pork.  There is not a cut of pork that I’d refuse, but my hands-down favorite has got to be thick-cut, bone-in pork chops.  A large part of this is definitely due to my deep, abiding love of my butcher shop https://donnasquickqi.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/weekly-winner-an-open-love-letter-to-my-butchers/.

Having divulged all this love, I might as well continue and say that without a doubt, this is my favorite preparation of my favorite cut of my favorite type of meat.  The recipe is Sweet and Spicy Thick-Cut Pork Chops and it comes from Cooks Country Magazine.

Last night I decided it was time to return to basics.  Meat, potato and vegetable.  It has been awhile since we sat down to what I consider a real, Midwestern dinner.  This was it and it totally hit the spot.

Sweet & Spicy Thick-Cut Pork Chops

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 bone-in rib or center-cut pork chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
Instructions
1. Whisk cider, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, mustard, hot sauce, and cornstarch in medium bowl. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Following photo 1 at right, cut 2 slits about 2 inches apart through fat on each chop. Rub chops with oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle 1 side of each chop with granulated sugar.

2. Place chops sugared-side down, in large nonstick skillet. Place skillet over medium-low heat and cook until chops are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Following photo 2, flip chops; add cider mixture, and cook, covered, until center of meat registers 145 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer chops to platter. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until liquid is thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.

3. Return chops to skillet and turn to coat with glaze. Transfer chops to platter and top with remaining glaze. Serve.

Weekly Winner: Hidden Valley’s Got Nothing On These Chops … And Slaw

IMG_0774This week’s Weekly Winner might qualify as the strangest prep ever for pork chops.  I’ve brined them, dry rubbed them, marinated them, breaded them…. you name it.  But until this past week I have never made what was basically homemade ranch dressing, impaled the pork chops with a fork, and soaked them in the dressing prior to broiling.  Never.  But trust me, I will do it again!

In all honesty, it was the Corn-Bacon Slaw that got my attention in this recipe.  I saw the picture of the nice golden brown and delicious pork chops and thought that the slaw would be a great accompaniment.  But the two components are joined together with the fabulous dressing.  The recipe comes from Food Network Magazine and is quick and easy.  It is also yet another excuse to visit my boys at the Paulina Meat Market for more of their fabulous pork chops and house-smoked bacon.

Pork Chops with Corn-Bacon Slaw

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 center-cut bone-in pork chops (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 4 cups shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions

Preheat the broiler. Whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise, parsley, vinegar, garlic, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Prick the pork chops all over with a fork. Set on a rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with half of the buttermilk dressing, turning to coat. Let marinate 15 minutes at room temperature.

Transfer the baking sheet to the broiler and broil until the pork is browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels and let cool slightly; roughly chop. Add the corn to the drippings in the skillet and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes.

Combine the bacon, corn, coleslaw mix, tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Toss with the remaining buttermilk dressing. Brush the pork chops with any juices from the baking sheet; serve with the slaw.