Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pork Chop, not quite sweet'n sour

I picked up a couple of nice pork chops for dinner.  I know from experience that a sprig of rosemary and one of thyme set on the pork chops in the oven will give them a wonderful flavor. So, of course, I wanted to try something else. I like pork ribs done in BBQ sauce in the oven and served on rice, so that is what I was trying to do.  

I started with a tsp of flour and 2 tsp oil in a sauce pan.  I cooked the flour taste off for a minute then added chicken stock to make a thick sauce.  I added half a can of tomato paste and more stock.  Salt and mixed pepper gave a decent tomato sauce. I added some dried ginger, but not enough to make a difference and a drop of molasses. I added some juice from a can of pineapple chunks hoping to get to that sweet'n sour place. I put the chop in and turned it over in the sauce, added the pineapple chunks and covered the pan with foil.  I put it in the fridge to marinate for an hour. I put the pan in a 300ºF oven for 1 and 1/4 hours.

I put some white rice on and prepped the carrot and Brussels sprouts for the steamer.  I steamed the veggies to almost done then finished them in extra virgin olive oil. I plated it all and it looked good although the pork appeared to have been boiled. Why I thought that wouldn't happen I don't know. The veggies were excellent, I'm finally getting the hang of doing them right. The pork was boiled to rubber and the sauce was tomato and boring.  The dish was on the right track but was derailed before the flavor station. 

I was sure that reducing the oven temperature to 300 and extending the cooking time would result in a tender chop but it turned out the opposite. I didn't add enough of anything to help the flavor along.  If I had added a clove or two of garlic or a teaspoon of ginger or some basil or even hot sauce I would have given the sauce a little more dimension. I like the potential of this dish so I  want to try it again but I'll reduce the heat to 200 and increase the cooking time to 2 1/2 hours so it DOES come out tender. I might start with a cheaper cut of pork too. I'll also be sure to put enough flavor in.

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