Homemade: Rosemary-Balsamic Pork Chops

Browned chops cooking in balsamic sauce

As I said in my last post, sometimes a home cook needs to get out of the meat and potato box and make something different. But oftentimes those frozen chicken breasts will save your wallet and quell the hungry masses. Rosemary-Balsamic pork chops is one such dish that’s both different and reliable. I’m not sure to whom I owe the credit for this recipe– and there a lot of similar recipes out these on the internets. We started making it over a year ago in Stillwater and probably eat it twice a month now. It was a lifesaver during vet school when we were, ahem, penniless students. Pork chops are good meat on the cheap and can be dressed up in any number of ways. J likes to fry up simple pork chops and serve with a fresh mango-jalapeno salsa. But this recipe turns out moist chops in a tasty brown sauce that you’ll want to eat more than once.

To make the chops you will need:

Ingredients and Garlic Zoom

  • 2 pork chops, not too thick
  • 3 tsp flour
  • 1-1.5 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2-3 tbls olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Make the breading for the chops. Combine flour and spices in a bowl big enough to accommodate one chop at a time.
  2. Dredge the chops in the flour mix and set on a plate. Make sure the meat is thoroughly coated.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in the pan at medium temperature. When the butter melts, saute the minced garlic. PSA: DO NOT brown the garlic. brown means it’s burned. It should only saute for a minute or so.  As soon as it even begins to look like it’s thinking about changing color, the chops should go in or the pan should be removed from the heat. Burned garlic is a travesty and makes everything taste bitter. Throw away browned garlic, it’s better than throwing away your dinner.

    Throw away burned garlic

  4. Spread the garlic out around the pan and place the chops side by side on top of the garlic. Allow to cook 2-3 minutes until browned and turn gently with tongs so as not to disturb the breading. Brown both sides and then remove chops from pan and set aside.
  5. Carefully pour the chicken broth and balsamic vinegar into the pan. If the sauce starts boiling away immediately, turn down the heat and add a little more broth. Cook for a few minutes without the chops until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  6. Put chops back in pan and simmer, turning the meat every four or five minutes. Cooking the meat thoroughly takes about 8-10 minutes. Cut the chops open to be sure they’re cooked all the way.
  7. Serve with veg and or carbs of choice. DON’T leave any sauce in the pan–you’ll be fighting over it later.

    complete meal in 45 minutes

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We ate this particular meal with farmer’s market corn on the cob and fresh green beans sauteed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. It’s a comfort food meal, one best eaten after a long day at work or when you just need something satisfying. We were kayaking on the Armand Bayou earlier in the day and while we had a hearty lunch, our aching muscles begged for something more homey.  It was all so… warm… and… yummy. We may have split a bottle of Chateau St. Michelle Gewurtztraminer and watched Battlestar Galactica while eating this. It certainly all made for a blissful night’s sleep.

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