Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mustard and Apricot Glazed Pork Chops

pork chops

After our last experiment with pork, I was keen to try and find a different cut of the meat, which had all the flavor of the steaks but none of the dryness. Slow cooked spare rib chops seemed to be the way to go. I intended to braise them in a sauce slowly for two hours to get them tender. The problem was which sauce to use. I knew the orange, juniper and red wine combination had worked well before but I wanted to experiment more with the flavors of this meat before I started repeating old ideas.
Unfortunately the problem with ‘unusual’ foods is that not many people have tried them and good recipes are few and far between. Even something like pork, which has been eaten for centuries yields few useful results simply because it isn’t all that popular now.
The only recipe that caught my eye, one for pork chops with mustard, honey and apricot. Well, at least I had an idea of what to try. I went out shopping for some apricot jam, dijon mustard and accompaniments for our meal.
I made a mixture of about 25% dijon mustard, 25% wholegrain mustard and 50% apricot jam.  On tasting this I decided it was sweet enough without any honey, so I just put the chops in a baking dish with some rosemary then poured over the glaze. The chops went in the oven for two hours at oven temp 325 while I made some Lyonnaise potato (Recipe for the next blog).
It seems we found exactly what we were looking for in these chops. The meat melted in the mouth but had just as much flavor as the steaks. I’m really confused as to why these were cheaper than the steaks, which were verging on chewy even when tenderized and lightly cooked. Could it just be the extra cooking time?
The only thing that went wrong for this dish was the presentation. Thinking carefully about the visual aesthetics as well as the flavors, I decided that red cabbage with juniper would be the best accompaniment. I couldn’t find these at our local markets, So I went with stir-fried shredded cabbage (or you may use dry cole slaw mix instead). So both accompaniments to this dish were rather pallid and the plates as a whole was not very photo worthy.
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