I first became a convert to the idea of pairing meat with vinaigrettes by reading Michael Symon. His argument is that a heavy, stock-based sauce is not the ideal complement to a rich piece of meat; instead, you want a light-on-its-feet, well-balanced mixture of acidity and fat. It's surprising how important vinegar or citrus can be to great seasoning—it's often what's missing. Rather than richness on top of richness, the key here is a sweet-tart vinaigrette.
This recipe comes from Taming the Flame by Elizabeth Karmel, a veritable grilling and barbecue bible. This quick dish caught my eye, made from "pailliards" of pork (made by pounding the meat until thin and quick-cooking), which are grilled with scallions and doused with a vinaigrette of orange juice, apple cider vinegar, marmalade, olive oil, and a touch of cream.
- 1 pound boneless pork chops (about 2 chops)
- 2 bunches scallions, ends and roots trimmed, left whole
- 1/2 cup orange juice (about 1 juicing orange)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
With a sharp knife, slice the chops in half horizontally to make 4 1/2-inch-thick chops. Rub each with a little olive oil, sandwich between wax paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap, and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until 1/4-inch thick. Season the chops with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar and cream. Whisk in the marmalade, then add the oil in a slow stream at first while whisking constantly to create a smooth dressing. Continue whisking in the rest of the oil, taste for seasoning, and set aside.
Prepare a grill or heat a grill pan over high heat. Rub the scallions with olive oil and grill until charred and soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove to a platter and add the pork to the grill; cook until well-marked and firm, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter to rest for a moment.
Drizzle the pork and onions with the vinaigrette, and serve immediately.