Friday, February 20, 2009

Smothered Pork Chops

Well as you can see, we're eating well again here at Maison Mundy. Tonight it was pork chops, smothered in onion, apple and sweet yellow pepper. Yes, we've been on a bit of a sweet pepper kick lately!

So here's the recipe:

Place three pork chops (about 1 lb.) in a marinade consisting of:

1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme leaves
2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
2 cups vegetable stock

Now while the pork chops are marinating, start trimming:

1 large sweet yellow bell pepper
1 medium yellow onion
1 medium Granny Smith apple

Don't forget to save the trimmings for stock -- but not the green stems or seeds or the apple core! You can peel the apple or not -- if you do not peel it, be sure to wash it to remove the wax coating.

Chop the pepper, onion and apple into bite sized pieces and set aside in a bowl.

Rinse 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice
Heat 2-3/4 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp oil to boiling. Add the rice, turn down to low, and set the timer for 20 minutes.

Heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, along with 1-2 tsp fresh chopped thyme, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, and 1-2 tsp rubbed sage. When the butter has melted and the pan is hot, add the vegetable mixture (add only enough to cover the bottom, leaving some space in between -- in other words, do not crowd the pan). Sauté until the onion pieces break apart and start to become translucent. If you are doing the vegetables in more than one batch, remove the first batch into a bowl leaving as much of the oil as you can, and just add and cook the next batch until you are done.

Now add a little more butter and oil and the same seasonings, heat it up again, remove the pork chops from their marinade and place in the frying pan. Leave the heat on medium high, and sauté each side until brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Now add back the vegetables and cover the pan, putting it on medium low heat. Cook for another 7 or 8 minutes, until the pork chops are just done.

Remove the pork chops and vegetables into an ovenproof baking dish. If it does not have a cover, cover it with aluminum foil and place it in a warm oven while finishing up the sauce.

Turn the heat off the rice when the 20-minute timer goes off.

Deglaze the frying pan with the marinade liquid. Cook on high heat -- we're going to reduce it. After it starts to reduce, taste and adjust. The lemon and vinegar will have made it a bit tart. I added: 1 Tbsp honey, 1 tsp reduced sodium Soy Sauce (the reduced sodium Soy Sauce is not only less salty, but also milder than regular Soy sauce -- but be careful -- we don't want the soy flavor to really stand out here, just to provide some background), a little more thyme, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Keep reducing until the sauce is about one quarter of its original volume and is rich and dark looking.

Now remove the baking dish from the warm oven and pour the sauce over them.

To serve, place a bed of rice on the plate, place a pork chop over it, and spoon the vegetables and sauce over all. Garnish with a sprig of fresh time.


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