Last month in this space, I mentioned my love of braising as a way of utilizing “lesser” cuts of meat, thereby saving some money on your regular grocery bill. Recently, my husband purchased a very large quantity of pork loin chops but they were so lean, that they were a bit on the chewy side when put onto the barbeque grill. Instead of keeping them in the freezer to wait until the fall when I could heat up the oven and make a breaded pork chop, I decided to get out my brand new braising pot that had not yet been christened. Mine happens to be Nordicware, a brand that I Iove, but many cookware lines have a pot suitable for braising. The keys are a tight fitting lid and sturdy handles that can be safely put right into the oven. This is because the braising method occurs in two stages: first you want to quickly sear the meat and then using the same pot, add liquid, secure the lid and pop it into a slow oven.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Six 6-ounce boneless center-cut pork chops
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire or soy sauce
- Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork chops on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together garlic, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce with ⅓ cup water. Pour over pork chops. Place in a low oven (250,range) and cook until tender. The slower the temperature the longer the cooking time. I put mine in the oven for about 4 hours (because I was out volunteering) at 170. It is not an exact science because the chops cannot really overcook.
- Transfer pork to a serving platter. Place the pot back on the cook top on medium-high and cook sauce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over pork chops; serve immediately.
In the winter I serve a dish like this with noodles or brown rice and steamed vegetables. In summer it can be placed on a crusty roll alongside a salad. Either way, the recipe is economical and delicious.
Kathryne Grisim grew up in the hospitality business and she and her husband of almost 30 years, owned their own family restaurant at one time. She currently teaches social media and hospitality and is a food, travel and restaurant writer for Winnipeg Women Magazine, the Canstar newspapers, and her own blogs: www.foodmusings.ca andwww.boomchicaboom.ca. Food Musings was selected Winnipeg’s favourite blog by Uptown Magazine in 2012 and is Urban Spoon’s number one Manitoba Blog. Kathryne is proud to be a regional ambassador for Food Bloggers Canada, Canada Beef and Sobey’s. She is an imaginative cook and especially enjoys preparing food that will demonstrate to her family how deeply she cares for them. In Kathryne’s world food=love!