Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sauteed Pork Loin Chops with Cranberry Orange Sauce

I got really excited when I saw fresh cranberries at Trader Joe's, so I bought three bags (you can freeze cranberries if you don't want to use them right away). I love making baked goods with cranberries, but thought I should try some savory dishes as well. This dish turned out really nicely... I loved the sweet-tart sauce with the mild pork.  I'm glad I bought so many cranberries... we'll make this one again! We served this with our delicious potato latkes and some roasted asparagus.

John brined the pork chops first. This is an optional step, but it's easy to do and will ensure juicy pork. To brine, dissolve 3 tablespoons of table salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar in 2 quarts of water. Submerge the meat completely in the brine, then cover and refrigerate for a half hour. Remove the meat from the brine, pat it dry with paper towels, and proceed with the recipe.

Sauteed Pork Loin Chops with Cranberry Orange Sauce
from Cook's Illustrated: The Best Light Recipe


For the pork:
4 boneless loin chops, 3/4 inch thick, brined if desired
salt and ground black pepper
1 Tbs. vegetable oil

For the sauce:
1 medium shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup fresh or frozen thawed cranberries
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tsp. lemon juice

Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Lay the chops in the skillet and cook until light brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the chops over, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the centers of the chops register 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the chops to a plate, cover with foil, and let them rest until the centers reach an internal temperature of 145 to 150 degrees (5 to 10 minutes).

While the pork chops rest, add the shallot and 1/4 tsp. salt to the oil left in the skillet, return to medium low heat, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stire in the orange juice, scraping up the browned bits. Stir in the cranberries, broth, and sugar, bring to a simmer, and cook until the mixture measures 1 cup, about 8 minutes.

Pour any accumulated pork juices into the simmering sauce. Off the heat, stir in the thyme and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the pork before serving.

Download a printable recipe.


Unknown said...

The sauce looks delicious! I'd like to lick it off of a chop! Who wants a de-sauced pork chop? :)

Bec said...

Haha... I'm going to have to make ribs and invite you over to lick the sauce off.