Monday, April 13, 2009

Pork Chops in Garlic Wine Sauce

When I was growing up, I thought I didn’t like pork. My mother regularly made it, always the same way. She would mix a little salt, ground pepper, and garlic powder in a couple of cups of flour. Then she would dredge the thin pork chops. Finally, she would brown the pork chops in oil, add water, and simmer for half an hour or more. The end product was invariably dry pork chops with a bland brown gravy. So I thought I only liked pork when it was cured.

My partner, on the other hand, is a southerner. Or as her sister-in-law calls it: “The People of the Pig.” It was tough on her not eating pork much – either when I wasn’t home for dinner or when she could convince me to cook her pork and myself beef. That ended one night when I got tired of making two dinners and decided to surprise her. I realized that I could deal with the meat’s dryness if I moist-cooked it. So I quickly seared the meat, added water, and added salt and garlic. Something was missing, so I threw in some peppercorns (which I hate, but my nose said it needed). Something was still missing, so I dribbled in some rum. And I loved every bite of it!

So I went on a crusade to figure out how to make yummy pork. And I've been succeeding!

Pork Chops in Garlic Wine Sauce

3 tablespoons of chopped garlic

1 cup of Chardonnay

2 cups of water

1 large pinch of coarse-ground kosher salt

Several grinds of black pepper

1 teaspoon of orange zest

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 large pork steaks (I used pork sirloin steaks)

Pulse the garlic to turn it into a paste. Add wine, salt, pepper, and garlic. Add pork steaks and marinade for an hour.

Heat oil in skillet on high. Remove pork steaks from marinade (reserve marinade) and pat dry. Sear steaks until brown on both sides. Add 1 cup of marinade and simmer for 30 minutes.

The pork was really tender. The pork is well-flavored with the marinade and very, very moist. The orange zest really brings out the native sweetness of the pork and brightens the flavor wonderfully. This goes really well with rice pilaf and freshly steamed broccoli.

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