Last evening, I made the most delicious pork chop sear that I have ever made ... period. Peace.
Have you seen this cookbook? If you have not, you really should, as it has some of the best recipes that I've come across in a good long time. I am not exaggerating here. Diana Henry has a way of choosing basic ingredients and adding just the most beautiful twists. In this case, a roast of plums that have Chinese five spice powder and ginger added to a citrus and honey sauce that also has those typical Chinese aromatics- red chilis and garlic. Luscious !
I have not been disappointed with one of the things I've made from pure simple cooking . Of course, the simplicity of the recipes allow one to change things up a bit and substitute ingredients to one's tastes. In the case of these pork chops, I opted for boneless slabs of pork sirloin that I hacked into fist-sized servings and pounded to about half-inch thickness. I did not bake them for 45 minutes, because I feared dry pork (sharp intake of breath and disgusted snort of derision). Instead, I rubbed them with a bit of olive oil and seasoned them with Kosher salt and black pepper, pan-seared them on a super hot grill pan and then added the plum slivers and spicy sauce, let everything bubble just a bit before finishing in a 375 °F (for only 15 minutes.) The pork was just slightly pink on the inside, but crispy and slippery with the sweet plum juices on the outside ... it was a fantastic dish!
If you get this book, I heartily recommend making this dish (p. 34) and plating it with Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro and Chile Relish (p. 131). We had simple steamed green beans to round out our plates. It was a perfect early Fall meal. There were noooo leftovers.
Pork Chops With Plums and Chinese Spices
Diana Henry's recipe from pure simple cooking
1 lb. plums, red fleshed or golden fleshed are lovely
4 servings of bone-in pork chops or boneless pork sirloin
5 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 medium fresh red hot chile (I used
chile), seeded and finely chopped Anaheim
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice of ½ orange (I used ½ c. orange juice)
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper
Making the Dish:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. and get out an oven-proof shallow baking dish.
- Halve and pit the plums, slicing them into quarters or sixths.
- Lay the pork chops in the baking pan, arrange the plums around them.
- Whisk together the honey, five spice powder, ginger, chile, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the pork and plums.
- Pop in the pre-heated oven and roast for 45 minutes.
- Serve hot from the oven.
Note: An alternate method is to heat a grill pan until it is VERY hot. Spray with a bit of oven spray. Rub the meat with a bit of olive oil and salt and black pepper and sear for about three to four minutes on each side. When you turn the pork over after searing the first side, add the plums so that they begin to soften. When the second side of the pork is browned and crisp (another three to four minutes), carefully add the whisked sauce, let it bubble up for a couple minutes, then carefully transfer the pan to the oven and finish the dish by roasting for 10-15 minutes or until the pork is light pink and moist in the middle. Serve hot from the oven.