Pork chop isn’t among my favorite cuts of pork. Especially when grilled, the fatless meat turns dry. But when braised, pork chops can be succulent. Alex cooked mustard balsamic pork chops a few days ago and they were just fantastic.
To make the mustard balsamic pork chops, three pieces of pork chops (bone-in) were marinated overnight in a mixture of salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, mustard, rosemary and chili powder. The next day, the meat was drained, browned in butter then braised in the marinade.
Served over pasta tossed with the drippings from the meat, the mustard balsamic pork chops made a delectable lunch.
A few things before the recipe. The exact amount of ingredients will vary depending on the weight and thickness of your pork chops. So, no measurements are provided.
Why wasn’t the sugar added to the marinade? Because when you brown meat that had been marinated with sugar, the sugar will caramelize fast and make the meat look “browned” when, in fact, the dark exterior is merely caramelized sugar. The browning process in this recipe is essential to prevent the meat from acquiring a “boiled” mouthfeel. So as not to impede the browning, no sugar was added to the marinade.
- Wipe the pork chops dry with paper towels. Place side by side in a shallow container.
- Mix together the salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, plain mustard, rosemary and chili powder. Taste. Adjust the proportion of ingredients to suit you. The marinade is meant to be tangy. Leave it that way. You will balance the tanginess with sugar later.
- Spread the marinade over the pork chops. Cover the container and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Melt butter in a wide frying pan.
- Drain the pork chops and brown on both sides.
- Pour in the marinade. If there is too little liquid, pour in about a quarter cup of water. Cover the pan and braise the pork chops for 40 to 50 minutes depending on how thick they are. If the liquid dries out before the pork chops are done, add more water, a quarter cup at a time.
- When the pork chops are done, there should be almost no liquid left in the pan. Pour in just enough cream to coat the pork chops. Add Parmesan cheese and sugar.
- Swirl the pan around. Taste the sauce and make the necessary adjustments.
- Serve the mustard balsamic pork chops with bread or rice. Or you can toss cooked pasta in the pan juices and whatever sauce remains, and serve the pork chops over the noodles.
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