Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pork chops and caramelized onions

I love pork chops, but they are REALLY easy to overcook, and then only applesauce can save them. This is an easy dinner, though you need the right tools to pull this off.

Caramelized onions:
Really easy if you know what you're doing. Use more onions than you think, because they cook down to nothing. Cut onion into rounds, place into non-stick pan with olive oil over low heat. The key to this is low and slow. 20-30 minutes, just keep it moist with wine when it looks dry. Salt and pepper at the end. Don't add sugar, it just gets gummy.

Pork chop (bone in, thick cut, organic preferred):
1) Brine the chop (I like a sweet/vinegary brine for pork. Try a fist full of salt, a gallon of cold water, a tablespoon of brown sugar, a splash of rice vinegar, and bunch of pepper corns - 2 hours tops)
2) Heat pan (ovenproof, cast iron if possible) over medium flame. Preheat oven to 350
3) Drain the chop. Pat dry with paper towels.
4) Oil the chop, NOT the pan (something with a high smoke point, like canola or peanut). Salt and pepper lightly
5) Sear about 3 minutes on each side, until you get a good crust. I like to add butter or oil to the pan right when the pork starts to keep it from sticking and smoking.
6) When you get a good sear, put the whole pan in the oven for about 5 minutes or until you get internal temp of around 155 near the bone.
7) Remove from oven and pan, let rest on cutting board with foil tent.

Pair with a bright red wine and some pasta or fennel salad. You have now made a dish that costs $25 at a nice restaurant for about $5!

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