Friday, November 4, 2011

Pork Chops With Cranberry Wine Sauce

As one of my friends likes to say while drinking wine, "Woo-hoo!" So, now that I've got the ol' box of wine in the fridge, it makes it so easy to make wine-based sauces. And today's sauce is not only wine-filled, but also festive. Because I'm betting fresh cranberries have been hitting your local grocery stores like crazy. I like to stock up on fresh cranberries this time of year--especially around Thanksgiving, when they go on sale. I buy several bags, and just toss them right into the freezer. They freeze amazingly, and by doing this I've got cranberries to use whenever I want them, all year round.

Online masters degree programs are of interest for people who want to learn more about cooking and culinary arts.

The pork chops are the simple part. Just salt and pepper both sides.

Drizzle some olive oil into a pan and turn the heat on a little higher than medium. You want to sear your pork, but since it's bone-in, it'll have to cook a little longer. If you turn the heat on high, you might get some burning.

When the oil is hot, carefully place the pork chops in the pan. Pick your spots now, because it will be hard to move the chops once they've touched the hot pan.

Because you can't really fiddle with them once they're in the pan, there are only three chops in this picture. Once I flipped them over, I was able to position them to fit the fourth. It's like a puzzle...but made of pork.

Let the pork chops cook on one side for 3 minutes. By that time, they should have a nice sear and not stick to the pan anymore. Flip them over and cook for another three minutes.

After your second three minutes is up, move the pan to a preheated 400F oven and let the oven finish cooking the chops all the way through. 7-8 minutes should do it.

While the chops are cooking, you can assemble your sauce ingredients. First, measure out a cup of cranberries.

Be sure to look for any wrinkly ones. There were a few stems in mine, too, which I've never seen before. So check for stems.

Then chop up some onion. I used half a small onion. Shallot would be really nice here, it's a bit milder.

Now get a liquid measuring cup and pour in half a cup (or so) of red wine.

Top it off with half a cup of chicken broth.

Add in a couple tablespoons of brown sugar. Careful when you drop it in, it splashes!

Measure a tablespoon of tomato paste, too. It will make your sauce nice and rich.

And finally, grab some fresh thyme. Pull the leaves off and add them to the cup. If you don't have fresh, just use half the amount of dried.

When your chops have finished their cook time in the oven, pull them out (be careful, the pan's handle will be hot! I grab an oven mitt and stick it on the handle to pull the pan from the oven. That way, nobody accidentally gets burned. Also, avoid mitts with polyester on the inside, it will melt onto your handle. Stick with plain cotton if you've got it.) Set the chops aside on a  clean plate and leave them somewhere to stay warm.

Now that the chops are out of the pan, put the butter and onions in. Let the onions soak up the meaty browned bits on the bottom.

When the onions are softened, pour in the cranberries. Let them saute until they begin popping, about 5 minutes.

Once the cranberries have started to pop, use a spoon to crush most of the cranberries.

Pour in the wine mixture.

Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes.

It should get sort of jammy. If you get distracted and let it cook down too long, just add a bit more liquid--chicken broth, wine, or even water.

Serve the sauce with the pork chops. It's also great with chicken or turkey!

Recipe: Pork Chops With Cranberry Wine Sauce

1 1/2 lbs. bone-in pork chops
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
half a small onion
1 c. cranberries
1/2 c. red wine
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme

Salt and pepper pork chops on both sides. Heat oil in an oven-safe pan until it glistens in the pan; carefully set the pork chops in the pan. Sear both sides for 3 minutes per side. Move pan to a 400F oven for 7-8 minutes.

While pork chops cook, combine wine, chicken broth, brown sugar, tomato paste, and thyme. Set aside.

Carefully remove pan from the oven; move to stove. Remove pork chops and place somewhere to keep warm.

Using the same pan, saute onions in butter over medium heat until softened. Add cranberries.

When cranberries begin to pop. deglaze pan with wine mixture. Use a spoon to gently crush cranberries. Simmer sauce for 10-15 minutes. Serve sauce with chops.

No comments:

Post a Comment