Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Maple-Glazed Pork Chops

Quick post tonight! It's been way too long since I blogged, but I've got some neat ideas of what to write about here next. They linger above me tantalizingly, like a mobile above a baby or anything that vaguely dangles above my cats. Just waiting on payday, and then I'll dig in--(ha ha ha.)

Tonight, though, I thawed these pork chops found in my freezer and hunted about for a simple yet delicious pampering for them. Ultimately I chose a spiced maple glaze and a pan-searing, oven-roasting method, inspired by a Cook's Illustrated recipe.

First, I preheated the oven to 325.

In a small bowl, I mixed together the maple syrup, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and cider-vinegar.

I set the bowl aside and then heated two tablespoons of sunflower oil over medium-high in a heavy-bottomed skillet. I sprinkled my chops with salt and pepper, and then added them to the skillet once the oil had just begun to smoke.

The chops browned quickly, taking about 2 - 3 minutes on each side. I used my tongs to make sure the edges became well-browned too. Once everything was nicely Snooki-ed up, I took the chops out of the pan and laid them to rest on a conveniently proximal plate.

Then I lowered the heat under the skillet to medium and added the bowl of maple madness. It immediately bubbled up and I waited till the sweet foresty aroma reached my nose before I moved the skillet off heat and returned the chops.

I turned the chops over a few times until they were fully coated in the syrup mixture, and then I placed the skillet in the oven for 35 minutes. Twice during this time period, I reached into the oven (first opening the door) to turn the porkchops over and recoat them in the glaze.

Then I removed the skillet from the oven and removed the porkchops, letting them rest for 15 minutes to retain optimum temperature. Ideally, they come out of the oven at 135 degrees and end up at 145. Don't poison yer-selves, ya hear?

Meanwhile, I let the maple syrup gel slightly in the skillet for five minutes before pouring it over the meat. After fifteen minutes, I sliced and served (with a side of steamed broccoli tossed in a garlic vinaigrette, to balance things out.)

Maple-Glazed Pork Chops

2 pork chops (each a little less than 1/2-lb)
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Serves 2.

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