Monday, May 27, 2013

Pork Chops with Onion Apple Slaw

I was never a huge pork fan, until I realized what I was doing wrong. Pork desires to be cooked fast, at a high temperature, or it gets tough, chewy, and flavorless. I am sure we have all experienced this at one point or another...So, this recipe's goal is to teach you how to make the best pork possible! 

I decided to experiment with those McCormick spice packs you find at the grocery store. They contain a few different meal-sized portions of spices and have a recipe on the back. It's really convenient if you don't feel like--say, buying a whole container of paprika for just one recipe. 

This is the spice pack I used. I just added some mashed veg and some clearer directions on the cooking for ya'll to have a successful dinner.

This is all of the spices mixed up with flour and salt: paprika, sage, cloves, and freshly minced garlic (I can't stand the dried stuff they give you in the container).

Roll the pork chops (bone-in, of course, for flavor!) in the seasoning, packing in that fresh garlic! Set about a half-tablespoon behind for later.

Sear the pork chops in a hot pan. Get the pan HOT at medium heat (put your hand over the pan, and you should FEEL the hot air), add about 1tbsp butter, let it begin to sizzle, and then place the meat in. The pan IS NOT HOT ENOUGH if you don't hear a loud sizzling when you put the meat in...

Once it's in there, LEAVE IT ALONE to brown. After about 3-4 minutes, check to make sure there is a golden brown crust on the bottoms before flipping them. You will only flip them ONCE so make sure the bottom half is cooked!

 Notice here, how you can see that the sides of the meat are starting to look paler in color. The white sections around the edges show you that it is cooked about half way through. 

After another 3-5 minutes take them out of the pan, and place them on a plate and set aside.

Next, I made some vegetables. They are important for every diet, so NO COMPLAINING! They add a splash of color to the plate as well as vitamins. All I had were carrots and rutabaga, so I diced them up and roasted them on a pan before mashing them with potatoes!

Toss carrots and rutabaga in 3 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. salt and then roast in a 425F oven for about 20 minutes, until browned and soft. 

When you put your vegetables into the oven, also get the potatoes boiling. I peeled about 1.5 potatoes per person, so 6 in all, cut them up into cubes, dropped them in salted water, brought it to a boil, and let it continue boiling until they were very fork tender. The softer they are, the easier they are to mash.

These are my boiled potatoes that I strained and then shook around in the pan so they got all sticky and started falling apart (easier to mash everything together this way :D). It was really nice to have the roasted veg in there, the brown bits added a lot of flavor, plus rutabagas are not really in season so they taste better roasted.

Meanwhile, while the potatoes were boiling and the veg was roasting.... I threw sliced onions into my meat pan and let them brown and caramelize for about 15 minutes. After they got soft, golden, and fragrant, I added sliced apples as well as some apple juice and the spice mix that was reserved, and cooked the mixture for another 10 minutes or so until the apples were soft.

After everything beautifully softened and came together, I added the pork chops back in for a few minutes so they could heat up again. By that point, the potatoes had been drained and the vegetables were just coming out of the oven. So I mashed together all of the finished vegetables with 6 tbsp of butter, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 cup of cream.


And here is the final product! Mashed veg, pork chops, and onion apple slaw.

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