Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thick Cut Mustard Marinated Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions

I'm not sure how or why this has happened, but somehow since we moved to Bellingham, we've started eating more pork products. Maybe it's because the quality of the pork we can get from the Community Food Co-op is outstanding. From the Bacon to the Pork Roasts, to their several different varieties of sausages, we haven't had a bad one yet. For tonight's main course, Thick Cut Mustard Marinated Pork Chops with Caramelized Red Onions, we noshed on some delicious sirloin steaks from Salmon Creek Farms. The recipe actually calls for bone in pork chops, but the Co-op doesn't carry that cut so these boneless sirloin steaks worked great in their place.

Start by whisking together olive oil, dijon mustard (I heartily prefer Grey Poupon), salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Coat Pork Chops thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat until smoking. If your pan is well seasoned, you will not need to add cooking oil since there is plenty of olive oil in the marinade. Add pork chops to the hot pan and cook 5 to 6 minutes until well seared on both sides and cooked through. Remove to a plate and let the meat rest. (Resting is where you set a cooked piece of meat aside and let it cool for several minutes before cutting into it. This gives the juices time to redistribute throughout the meat so that they will not run all over your plate when you slice it open and maintain it's lovely flavor.)

Next, heat a couple splashes of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Slice one or two red onions into thin rings and add to the pan. Cook about four minutes until the onions start to soften. Add one tablespoon each of honey and balsamic vinegar and stir to incorporate. Continue to caramelize onion mixture for another ten to fifteen minutes. Serve atop the Mustard Pork chops.

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