by Malia Kirby L.Ac.
Over the weekend, Hubbs and I dropped the wee Wondermutt off at his girlfriend’s house, headed downtown for the day, and capped it all off by enjoying a lovely dinner with Shawn’s parents down in Olde Town Arvada, a meal I cannot stop thinking about. I ordered this gorgeous pork chop with a peach and chipotle chutney, and so now I unsurprisingly have pork on the brain. Shawn is thrilled, as I almost never make pork chops at home, and he’s been begging for a recipe kind of like this one for some time now. Truth be told, he’s been asking for it ever since I wrote up that figgy pork loin recipe way back when…and now after searching out the link for that recipe, I realize now he’s been waiting a year. A year, my friends. I’m long overdue.
Since I’m very publicly doing the internet recipe walk of shame this week, today’s post will actually include three recipes he’s been asking for (technically four, if you count the chutney), so my lack of focus when it comes to long-term menu planning is your gain. This is precisely what we’re eating for this Friday’s date night, probably accompanied by a nice epi, Rogue’s Pumpkin Patch ale, and Comice pears with brie for dessert.
Pork Chops with Apple-Ginger Chutney, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Cheddar Mashed Butternut Squash
Serves four (with leftover chutney)
For the pork chops
4 bone-in pork chops, 1 ½” thick
2 ½ c water
1 oz kosher salt
1 bunch thyme
10 cloves garlic, smashed
1 T sugar
1 T black peppercorns, coarsely cracked
2 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T grapeseed oil
2 T fresh parsley leaves, minced
For the cheddar mashed butternut squash
1 butternut squash, stem removed, halved, and seeds removed
4 cloves garlic confit, pureed
2 T butter
Up to 1 c cheddar cheese, grated
For the Brussels sprouts
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 T grapeseed oil
2 T butter
For the apple-ginger chutney
3 apples, large dice
1 onion, medium dice
½ c medjool dates, pitted and chopped
½ c apple cider vinegar
½ c Calvados
¼ c Craisins
3 T fresh ginger, minced
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
½ t ground cinnamon
¼ t allspice
1/8 t cayenne
Brine the pork chops:
Heat 1 c of the water and the kosher salt in a medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until the salt has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add the remaining 1 ½ c water along with the thyme, garlic, sugar, and peppercorns, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Place the pork chops in a sealable container, pour the cooled brine over the chops, cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
Roast the vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 400°F, adjusting the baking racks to accommodate for two baking sheets and a cast iron skillet if the oven size will not easily allow for them to all be on the same rack.
Place the cleaned butternut squash cut side down on one baking sheet, then place on the bottom rack of the oven to roast at 400°F for 45-50 minutes.
Toss the trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts with the grapeseed oil, then place on the upper rack of the oven to roast at 400°F for 35-40 minutes or until the outer leaves are browned to your liking, stirring periodically to ensure even browning.
Prepare the chutney:
Place the diced apples and onion, dates, vinegar, Calvados, Craisins, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne in a large saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, approximately 30-35 minutes.
Sear the pork chops:
Once you’ve started the chutney, remove the pork chops from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking to warm to room temperature, allowing for thorough cooking. Discard the brine, pat the chops dry, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, then sear the pork chops until well-browned, approximately 3 minutes per side. Finish the chops by transferring the skillet to the oven and baking for 6-8 minutes.
Remove the squash, Brussels sprouts and the pork chops from the oven. Transfer the pork chops to a plate, tent with foil, and rest the meat for 10 minutes. Remove the chutney from heat and allow to cool.
While the pork is resting, using a large spoon (and a baking mitt to hold the hot squash safely), gently scoop the cooked squash from the peel, placing it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment along with the pureed garlic confit and the 2 T of butter. Turn the mixer on the lowest setting and process until thoroughly mashed. Turn off the mixer, then fold in half of the cheddar cheese. Plate the squash onto serving plates, then sprinkle with the remaining half-cup of cheese if desired.
Dot the Brussels sprouts with the remaining 2 T butter, toss to coat, then plate.
Discard the tented foil, then plate the pork chops and top with the apple-ginger chutney. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and minced parsley. Serve immediately. Store any leftover chutney in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or transfer to glass jars with sealable lids and seal.
Click here to download a pdf copy