Maple Black Pepper Pork Chops

I am addicted to this dish. Usually I have to cook so many new dishes a week, I don't have time to revisit the really impressive ones. But I've made an exception for this one. I understand on paper it doesn't sound like it should work. The recipe from Eggs On Sunday uses a lot of maple syrup, Too sticky sweet? Nope, everything is balanced by the cider vinegar and black peppercorns, which transform into this rich, meaty glaze that miraculously makes each bite taste like the best rib eye you can imagine.

Of course, your success rate here depends completely on two elements. First, you need a fine, high-quality maple syrup. Second, you need to dish out for some real pork chops. Don't bother with those thin ones with no fat. I mean, you can, but it'll taste a lot better if you spring for some high quality, thick-cut pork with some real marbling.

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Maple Black Pepper Pork Chops

About This Recipe

Yield:2 people
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 2 bone-in, thick cut pork chops (about 1-inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (Grade B or Dark Amber)

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat your oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, season the pork chops well with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt. Pour the oil into large ovenproof skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chops. Cook the chops for four or five minutes on each side, until they are well browned.

  2. 2

    Flip the chops, and then carefully transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook them until their temperature reaches 145°F, about 2 to 4 minutes. Check with a instant read thermometer. Set the chops aside and cover with foil.

  3. 3

    Place the skillet back on a burner and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the shallot, thyme, and the rest of the salt. Cook until the shallot is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.

  4. 4

    Pour in the vinegar, and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits. Reduce heat to a simmer, and let reduce for 2 minutes. Then add the maple syrup and the crushed black pepper. Return to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes.

  5. 5

    Serve the sauce over the chops.

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