Eat Evolved


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The world’s best pork chops

March 23rd, 2011 at 19:30

First off, I would be remiss if I didn’t give major props to my source for pork chops, Caw Caw Creek. Emile raises wonderful piggies, and one of my favorite things is a juicy, tender, well-marbled pork chop from one of them. His bacon and sausages and Boston butts are also top notch (and you’ve never had wonderful until you’ve made cracklins from the skin that he leaves on those butts), but the pork chops are divine. Take one of those, well-prepared, and it’s better than almost any steak you can get. I used to love just slathering them in the Green Stuff and grilling them, until I found a perfect recipe for pan-searing.

You’ll want two large center cut chops, at least an inch thick. I have also done this with Emile’s regular bone-in chops, but those are thicker so you’ll have to extend the cooking time a bit. Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over high heat. Yeah, high. You’ll have to be careful that the butter and olive oil don’t smoke, but if they do it’s not the end of the world. Salt and pepper your chops. Use a lot of salt on this one–I’ve been known to use three quarters of a teaspoon on one large chop, but I love my salt. Put the chops in the skillet, and sear for two minutes. Flip, and sear for two minutes more. Turn down the heat to medium and cook for four more minutes, then flip and cook another five. Remove them from the pan and put them on a plate.

While the pork is cooking, mince two shallots and a clove of garlic. When the chops are done, remove all but a tablespoon of the fat remaining in the pan. If it got too browned, just remove it all and start over with a half-tablespoon each of olive oil and butter. Add the shallot and cook for two minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Then pour in a quarter-cup of dry vermouth. Scrape up all those lovely golden brown bits that were left behind from the pork. Add a half-cup of chicken stock and the juices that have accumulated in the pork plate, increase the heat, and reduce it to a thin syrup. Lower the heat to medium again and whisk in a couple of tablespoons of cold butter. When the butter has melted, pour the sauce over the pork.

This is an ugly picture, because a) the side is leftover cabbage, b) my peach kitchen, and c) half the pork chop is gone because we hacked off some bits to serve to Toddler. But just look at the color on those chops. And that sauce? I dare you to go without licking your plate like some sort of uncivilized heathen.
pork chops

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