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Pork Chops with Maple-Ginger Pan Sauce

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Serves 2

  • To learn more, read:
    Maple Syrup
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 70

There's probably a bottle of pure maple syrup in your refrigerator right now, awaiting your next batch of pancakes. But, if that's all you're using it for, you're missing out. Here, the maple syrup adds an earthy sweetness to the dish and its flavor pairs well with pork and peppery spices like ginger. This method is also a good way to cook very thin pork chops without drying them out.

  • 4 thin (1/2-inch) boneless center-cut pork chops
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup homemade or low-salt chicken broth or water
  • 2 Tbs. dark rum
  • 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil; more if needed
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint

Rinse the pork chops and pat them dry. Put the flour on a plate. Combine the broth or water, rum, and maple syrup in a measuring cup or small bowl; set aside. Generously season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge the chops in the flour and shake off the excess.

Heat a large (10 or 12 inch) skillet on medium-high heat for 1 min. Add the olive oil, and when it’s hot, set the chops in the pan (if they won’t fit without crowding, cook them in batches). Cook until one side is light golden, about 2 min. Turn the pieces and cook until the other side is light golden and the meat is cooked through but still moist, another 1 to 2  min. (Because the meat is so thin, it can’t get more than light golden on each side without becoming overcooked and dry.) Transfer the chops to a plate and repeat with the remaining chops, if necessary.

Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and stir constantly until they begin to turn golden, 5 to 10 seconds, and then immediately add the maple-rum mixture to the pan. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up the browned bits and help them dissolve. Boil until the sauce has reduced by about two-thirds and is nicely saucy, 3 to 4 min. Off the heat, add the butter, swirling the pan vigorously (or whisking) as it melts so it emulsifies the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the pork and then sprinkle on the cilantro and mint. Serve right away.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Brown Rice with Walnuts and Golden Raisins and Roasted Green Beans.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : using 2-oz. pork chops; Calories (kcal): 510; Fat (g): fat g 30; Fat Calories (kcal): 270; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 10; Protein (g): protein g 27; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 23; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 650; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 90; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

What a nice change. The maple syrup and the ginger were complimentary to the pork. ery easy recipe.

FABULOUS! Made with pork chops with a bone; therefore, had to cook just a bit longer, but this recipe is definitively a keeper!!! I thickened it up a bit with some cornstarch and water to make it stick to the pork more. Great recipe and very quick.

The taste is excellent...and so quick to make. My husband and I both loved it and this will be made often.

How do people come up with these recipes? Genius!!! This was spectacular and I made it exactly as written, except for the mint. I hated to purchase the mint for such a small amount, but perhaps next time. I did double the sauce as suggested by another reviewer and I can only imagine how good it would have been on rice. This will be going in my "Keeper" recipe book!! 10-Star!!

Simple to prepare, nice presentation, and very tasty. I was surprised by the cilantro and mint garnish, the combination seemed odd, but it works! I brined 5 chops (1.5 lbs total) for about an hour before cooking, recommend that especially for boneless, loin chops if you have time. Served with the recommended brown rice recipe, which was delicious, although small portions for 4. Would double that next time.

Absolutely fantastic. I grated my garlic and ginger so the pan sauce would be smooth, but left all ingredients as is. For a full review go to: http://www.takingonmagazines.com/2011/07/pork-chops-with-maple-ginger-pan-sauce.html

This is WONDERFUL!! Easy, fast and delicious. I used white wine instead of rum (as I did not have rum) and it was wonderful. This is a definite keeper.

Made this with the butternut squash risotto. The browned bits in the bottom of the pan did not dissolve in the sauce so I strained the sauce. I then added the butter and after it emulsified I added the pork back into the skillet to warm up. Very good

The sauce is out of this world. Paired with the risotto with bacon and sage, it was an exceptional meal. I had 1' inch thick chops, so browned them, then into a hot oven to finish while the sauce reduced. Perfect- expensive restaurant quality. Thank you, Sarah!

Easy and delicious!

It really IS "a good way to cook very thin pork chops without drying them out"!

Big hit with the kids!

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