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Friday, May 13, 2011

Center Cut Pork Loin Chops with Rosemary Apricot Reduction

I typically cook pork tenderloin as my kids love the lean but tender and juicy meat, but I've been craving some chops lately.  Now I know that doesn't even make sense... but you know... it was one of those things.

Center cut pork loin chops
Lite Italian dressing
Creole seasoning (Tony Chachere's)
Extra virgin olive oil
Worchestershire sauce
Soy sauce
Reduced sodium chicken stock
Apricot preserves/jelly
Sprig of fresh rosemary, stripped

I can't really list amounts on this recipe, because it was one of those pour, taste, and adjust jobs.

I marinated the chops in Italian dressing and sprinkled with creole seasoning for about 30 minutes.  The meat needs to come to room temperature before you cook it!

To a HOT black iron skillet, add a little oil (maybe a tablespoon), and put the chops into the hot glimmering oil.  DON'T move them around.  You need to get a good sear on them, as this creates a wonderful crust, seals in the juices, and helps create the sauce later.  Flip to other side when side one is nice and brown.  After side two is really nice and brown, deglaze pan with chicken stock, soy sauce, and worchestershire sauce.  Pick up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (called "fond") with a large heavy spoon.

Stir in the apricot preserves (maybe 2/3 cup?) and get a nice consistency to the sauce.  As you reduce this sauce, it will thicken and become silky.  Stir in the rosemary that you have stripped from the woody stem (maybe 1 Tbsp). 

Insert a meat thermometer into one of the thicker chops and continue to reduce until internal temperature reads 160 degrees.  If the sauce starts getting too thick, add more chicken stock.  Turn off heat and let them rest for several minutes so juices will redistribute.  This will keep the meat juicy.  The sauce should be glossy and velvety (is that a word?). 

Serve the reduction over the meat. 

* The creole seasoning can be pretty spicy if you are not used to it, so for sensitive palates, substitute salt and pepper and maybe some other herbs (Italian seasoning, oregano, basil ?).

* I'm not sure this would work as well with the thin cut pork chops because they may overcook and dry out by the time the sauce is reduced.

Please visit my Recipe Index for more soups and lots of different ideas to cook with/for your family!   Here are a few different things:

Crab Ragoons
 


2 comments:

  1. Ok. This is the second I've made this and burned the bottom of the chops. I do the browning, then I deglaze and add back the chops. It is taking forever to cook the chops after that and they are sticking to the bottom of the skillet and totally burned. I need more detailed instructions :-). Help so I don't do this again.

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    Replies
    1. Tanya - Okay. That IS frustrating! How about this as an alternative... Try making this in a heavy duty, oven save skillet (preferably a black iron skillet). After you deglaze and add all the sauce ingredients, pop the whole thing into the oven to finish the cooking of the chops. Use a digital, instant read thermometer (available for less than $20 at most grocery stores and places that sell kitchen things). When the thermometer reads around 150 degrees F, take them out. Let them rest!!! If the sauce is not thick enough, remove the meat to a plate and cover to keep warm as you reduce the sauce on the stovetop. Keep me updated on this.. or email me to complain (LOL). juliesmith123@comcast.net

      Oh. and PS - make sure you allow your chops to come to room temp before cooking them. If they are cold, your middles will take too long to cook and the outside will burn.

      Good luck! :) Julie

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