Rosemary Pork Loin Chops with Sweet and Sour Red Wine Sauce

Since moving to Texas I have become slightly obsessed with barbeque. It's to the point that I now consider what was once my favorite cuisine, Italian, to be demoted and replaced with barbeque. Seeing as I am very proud of my Italian heritage, I found this revelation quite disturbing. However, I've recently been able to reconcile this trade-in of cuisine favorites thanks to an episode of Primal Grill on PBS. The host, Steven Raichlen, was of course grilling outdoors but preparing Italian cuisine. Specifically, he was making grilled foods of Tuscany, a part of Italy famous for roasted/grilled meat dishes such as bistecca alla fiorentina. He grilled pork chops large enough to please Fred Flinstone and dressed them with a grilled onion-balsamic reduction. I ratified his methods to be appropriate for indoor cooking. I simplified the sauce and used a more readily available cut of pork. Balsamic vinegar and rosemary (one of my favorite flavor combinations) complimented the meat. I also love juxtaposition of flavors, which is why I was attracted to this sweet-and-sour sauce in the first place. I loved how the sauce stained the outside of the meat a dark rose color. This makes such an elegant-looking dinner as well.

I'm glad I haven't totally abandoned Italian cuisine, I've just adopted new methodologies.

Rosemary Pork Loin Chops with Sweet and Sour Red Wine Sauce
Printable Recipe

1 lb pork loin chops (4-6), about 1-inch thick
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dry red wine (I used Zinfandel)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup wildflower honey
2 tbsp water
2 tsp light olive oil (ie: not extra virgin)
coarse kosher salt and coarse black pepper, to taste

1. In a large, lidded skillet, heated over medium-high heat, add the oil.
2. While the oil warms, massage the rosemary and some salt and pepper into the meat.
3. Add the meat to the hot skillet and thoroughly sear on both sides; remove the seared meat to a plate (note: it does not have to be cooked all the way through as it will be finished in the reducing sauce).
4. Immediately pour in the wine, vinegar, honey, and water. Scrape up the fond (the little browned bits), off the bottom of the pan. Allow the sauce to begin to simmer and season with a little pinch of salt and pepper (note: as the sauce is reducing, the saltiness will increase so don't add too much at this point).
5. Add the pork chops back to the skillet and place the lid on part of the way so the meat will cook while the sauce reduces. Cook until the meat is opaque and no longer pink and the sauce has reduced to a thick syrup. Taste the sauce to see if it needs more salt and pepper, then serve the meat drizzled with a little extra sauce.

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