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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Some Really Good Chops

Boneless pork chops are boring. They have little flavor and lack the juiciness of a pork chop on the bone. However, I find that I buy them often because they're packaged perfectly for a small family and the boys like them (the boys are partial to flavorless meats.) When preparing them, I usually cook them in a pan and then make a pan sauce to add juiciness and flavor. But just the other day, I came across a recipe from Cook's Illustrated magazine that promised to save the dull boneless pork chop by modifying cooking technique and adding a flavorful glaze. The technique suggested browning well on one side only and then flipping the chop and letting the other side only brown for a minute. A sauce that you've prepared is then added to the pan and the chops are simmered until they reach 140. It is very important not to boil the chops in the sauce and to not overcook. When the chops are done, they are removed from the pan and the sauce is reduced to a glaze. The chops go back in the pan for a turn in the glaze before serving. This glaze was wonderful, but I think I could have taken it a little farther to make it a bit more thick. It is made from apple juice, cider vinegar, soy sauce and mustard. This all cooks down to a nice sweet/sour concoction which makes the chops quite savory:

Here I served the chops with broccolini. This vegetable deserves a post of its own. The Cook's Illustrated article also offers a variation of the chops with asian flavors. I'll be trying this soon, so stay tuned.

2 comments:

Lisa said...

The pork chop looks succulent. I totally agree about the flavorlessness of the boneless ones; I rarely buy them. But this method and the sauce really makes it look tempting.

Terry B said...

I often brown chops, boneless or otherwise, on one side, as you did. Then after turning them over and letting them brown for a minute or two on the other side, I add some vermouth to the pan and cover it. It makes them nice and juicy, and the vermouth doesn't add any big flavor of its own. But you're also right that chops with bones are more flavorful.

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