Passion Project: Perfect Pork Chops with Garlicky Swiss Chard

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In my opinion, pork is the most intimidating kind of meat there is. I actually have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with it. While it has been featured in some of the best dishes I have eaten, it has also been in some of the worst. It’s so easy to overcook that it can really be hit or miss. As I’m sure you know, overcooked pork isn’t good. At all. What makes it even worse is that pork can be THE juiciest (I’m talking pulled pork sandwich kind of juicy). So naturally, it’s even more of a waste when it isn’t cooked properly. For this reason, I waited to take a class about it before I tried to prepare it myself.

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Pork cuts are typically fatty, which ensures that the meat remains tender. Pork belly, ribs, or shoulder are all cuts that can sustain long periods of cooking and remain really moist. Chops however, are much trickier to deal with. They fall in the category that’s easier to overcook because they’re much thinner, and have a lower fat content. However, when prepared right, they can also be deliciously tender and flavorful. So I tried them for myself!

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Breaking news, you don’t need to cook pork for a whole afternoon to make it tender. It doesn’t have to be pulled/shredded or coated over and over again “rib-style” to be perfectly moist. Pork chops can do the trick, and they can do it well. Here, I pan seared it on the stovetop and then finished it in the oven. This technique ensures that the whole cut is perfectly cooked homogeneously, and not overdone. You also get the nice crisp from pan searing it, which is one of the best parts. While the meat rests, I strongly sugest making a quick pan sauce with the fond at the bottom of the pan. This finishes the dish perfectly and makes sure you don’t waste any of the delicious pork flavor that developed during the cooking process.

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I went for an extremely simple combination: pork and Swiss chard. I think it’s pretty common in the south, though the greens are usually collards. I think the two go really well together and this side requires close to no time and effort to make while the meat cooks. I added onions and garlic to give it a kick, which blended well with the pan sauce from the pork. Now that I’ve mastered this cooking technique for pork, I’ll never hesitate before buying chops again. I hope you’ll give this a try too and let me know how it goes! Bon appétit!

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Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pork chop, frenched, bone-in
  • 2-3 handfuls of Swiss chard
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • olive oil
  • butter (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, and put a stainless steel pan or iron skillet in it to preheat it.
  2. Meanwhile, pat the pork chop dry on both sides. Season with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. When the oven is hot, take out the pan and place it on the stovetop. Set the heat to medium high, and place the pork chop in the pan. Let it sizzle for 3 minutes on each side.
  4. Then, place the pan back in the oven and let it cook for about 5-6 minutes. If your pork chop is really thick, you can leave it for a few extra minutes.
  5. In another pan, heat some olive oil and add the chopped chard, onions, and a garlic clove simply smashed with the flat side of a knife. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and let it wilt while the meat cooks.
  6. When the meat is done, let it rest, covered, on a plate for 5 minutes. Use that time to make a pan sauce. Add a drizzle of water to the cooking pan and turn on the heat. Scrape all the caramelized bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan, and let the sauce reduce. Add a tiny drop of butter to smooth it all out and mix well. Here, you can also add a drop of white wine and/or herbs (rosemary is delicious!).
  7. To serve, start with the Swiss chard and top with the pork chop. Drizzle the pan sauce on top and garnish with a last touch of black pepper. Enjoy!

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Temps Total: 20 minutes

Ingrédients

  • 1 côte de porc, avec le manche
  • 2-3 poignées de blettes
  • 2 oignons verts
  • 1 gousse d’ail
  • huile d’olive
  • une noix de beurre (optionnel)
  • sel de mer et poivre noir fraichement moulu

Étapes:

  1. Préchauffez le four à 200°C, et placez une poêle ou cocotte allant au four dedans.
  2. Pendant ce temps, épongez la côte de porc des deux côtés à l’aide de papier absorbant, e assaisonnez les de sel, poivre, et d’un filet d’huile d’olive.
  3. Lorsque le four est chaud, sortez la poêle et mettez la sur une plaque de cuisson, à feu moyen-fort. Mettez la côte de porc et laissez la saisir pendant 3 minutes de chaque côté.
  4. Puis, remettez la poêle au four et laissez la côte finir de cuire pendant 5-6 minutes. Si elle est spécialement épaisse, laissez la quelques minutes de plus.
  5. Dans une autre poêle, faite chauffer de l’huile d’olive et ajoutez les blettes en chiffonnade, les oignons émincés et la gousse d’ail légèrement écrasée à l’aide du plat d’un couteau. Assaisonnez de sel et de poivre et laissez réduire le temps que la viande cuise et repose.
  6. Lorsque la viande est prête, recouvrez-la et laissez reposer pendant 5 minutes minimum.  Profitez-en pour faire une sauce. Déglacez le fond de poêle en y ajoutant un filet d’eau à feu moyen. Raclez tous les petits morceaux de viande caramélisés et mélangez les jus de cuisson avant de laisser réduire. Vous pouvez aussi ajouter un filet de vin blanc et des herbes aromatiques (comme du romarin). Ajoutez ensuite une noix de beurre et mélangez une dernière fois pour homogénéiser le tout.
  7. Pour servir, commencez par les blettes et placez la côte de porc dessus. Versez ensuite la sauce par dessus et ajoutez une touche de poivre noir. Bon appétit!
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4 thoughts on “Passion Project: Perfect Pork Chops with Garlicky Swiss Chard

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