Friday, February 1, 2013

Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Cranberry-Red Wine Sauce and Red Chard

Hello, February.  You sure got here quickly.  You, with your explosion of sugar cookies, hearts, chocolate, and red velvet treats.  You, with your champagne and flowers and nights on the town.  Or maybe not.

Maybe this Valentine's Day, which falls on a Thursday, would better be spent at home.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the fancy-schmancy go out.  It's just that a calmer night is can be really nice, as well.  It's a lot cheaper, you can wear yoga pants, if you want, and you don't have to stop yourself at that second drink so you can drive home.  I'm just sayin'.

This year, I'll be bringing you a handful of recipes that would be perfect for a fantastic Valentine's Day in.  Some are perfect for just the two of you, some would be great to make for a Valentine's dinner with a small gathering of happy couples or awesome singles.  I don't discriminate around these parts.

These pork chops fall into the "just the two of you" category.  The recipe actually generously feeds four, so you can invite another couple, have leftovers, or halve the recipe.  Your call.  It's not that you couldn't serve this for a crowd, it's just that the timing is much easier when you're only working with one pan of chops.  You'll want to get a great sear on them before they go in the oven.  If they haven't turned that gloriously-rich shade of golden brown, they're not ready.  And the sauce?  To die.  Seriously.  It was perfect in color, flavor, texture, everything.  Plus, it leaves you nearly a full bottle of wine to finish with your meal.  Yes.


Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Cranberry-Red Wine Sauce and Red Chard
from epicurious

Ingredients:

For the chops:
4 (1 1/4-in. thick) bone-in pork rib chops
1 1/2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

For the chard:
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1/3 c. minced shallots (2 medium)
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 lb. red Swiss chard, stems and center ribs removed and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped and kept separate

For the sauce:
1/3 c. minced shallots (2 medium)
1/2 c. red wine (I used Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 c. fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (4 1/2 oz.)
3/4 c. chicken stock or broth
3 TBSP packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus additional sprigs for garnish
2 TBSP unsalted butter

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Pat chops dry on both sides (Don't skip this--it's integral to successful searing!) and season with salt and pepper.  

2.  To cook the chops, heat oil in an ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over moderately-high heat until hot but not smoking.  Cook chops until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side.  Transfer skillet to oven and roast chops 7-9 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 155 degrees F.  When done, transfer to a large plate and cover with foil until ready to assemble.  Reserve pork fat.

3.  At the same time you begin heating oil for chops, melt butter for chard over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add chard stems and ribs and cook.  Cover and cook until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes.  Add leaves and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6-7 minutes more.  Season with salt and pepper and reserve until ready to assemble meal. 

4.  Once chops are out of the oven, place pan over medium heat and sauté shallots in reserved fat until golden, about 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high, add wine and bring to a boil.  Deglaze pan and continue boiling until reduced by half.  Add cranberries and stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to burst, about 2 minutes.  Stir in brown sugar and thyme and reduce to a simmer.  Continue simmering, stirring frequently, until berries collapse, about 3 minutes.  remove from heat and stir in butter.  Taste and add salt and pepper, as desired.

5.  To assemble dish, create a bed of chard (and any other sides) on each plate and place pork chop on top.  Spoon sauce over chop and garnish with additional thyme sprigs.  Serves 4.

1 comments :

Simply Sweet Justice said...

Really nice presentation! This looks so good.