Thin Chops, Thick Flavor — Pork Chops with Ancho Chile Rub and Raspberry Glaze

4 Mar

For whatever reason, probably related to meals I ate growing up, whenever I think of pork chops, I think of thick center cut ones.  Ones that are thick enough to actual exhibit differing levels of doneness and can actually be cooked to a nice “medium.”  It was rare, if ever, that I ate thinner cuts of pork.  For whatever reason, to me they always seemed to be associated with an overcooked and dried out chop.

So, when I came into a wondrous bounty of pork from local Davidson Farms, which included thinner cuts, I was left without any go-to recipes in which to use them.  I knew I’d have to work on discovering how best to prepare them.  And this being winter, I’d have to cook at least some of them without the benefit of my trusty grill.

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My first thought was that these chops would be perfect for frying.  Being thin, you wouldn’t need as much oil to fry them, and it’d be easy to do in my shallow cast iron skillet.  My second thought was: Tania eats way more healthfully than I do, so unless I wanted to fry up a mess of chops all for myself I’d have to 1) find at least some  other ways to prepare them and 2) find someone to eat fried pork chops with me at a later date.

I succeeded on both counts.  (Tune in later for a discussion of how my friend Ron was so kind as to come over for a nice meal of fried pork that probably took several years of the lives of both of us.)

Much in the way that I had maintained an irrational distances from thinner cuts of pork, I also have an irrational belief that the more complicated a recipe is, the better it inevitably will be.  It’s a thing; I feel the need to demonstrate my kitchen skills with elaborate and complicated dishes.

But one night earlier last week, Tania and I were in need of a healthy, quick, and inexpensive weekday meal.  The only thing that could even possibly meet those requirements was some of the pork then residing in my freezer.  I took out a couple packages of chops, determined to make something awesome of them.

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It was only a short while later that I stumbled upon the following recipe for Pork Chops with Ancho Chile Rub and Raspberry Glaze. It was simple. It was quick. And I already had all of the ingredients in my cupboards.  Luckily for us, it was also delicious.

Pork Chops with Ancho Chile Rub and Raspberry Glaze

2 teaspoons ancho chile powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (Recipe says about ½ thick.  Mine were thinner and still worked great.)

Cooking spray

1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves

1.  Combine the first three ingredients in a small bowl.  Rub liberally on both sides of each chop.

2. Heat pan over medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray. (I use a Misto with vegetable oil to avoid the propellant that will stick to your pans and make them sticky over time.)

3. Add pork to the pan. Cook for about 3ish minutes on each side, or until the chops reach the desired level of doneness. Remove from the pan. Cover and keep warm.

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Pork chops cooking away.

4. Add broth to pan, and cook for 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Increase heat to medium-high.

5. Add preserves to pan; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cover pork with glaze.

Pork chops -- just seasonings, no glaze yet!

Pork chops — just seasonings, no glaze yet!

And that was it!  It turned out to be a really flavorful and delicious meal.  And from fridge to table took all of 15 minutes or so.

We did make one modification: Tania loves sauce, so we doubled that portion of the recipe.  It was easy enough to do and the amount of sauce used can be customized for your dinning preference as well.  Next time, I may actually use a bit less.  It could be that my ancho chili pepper is getting a bit long in the tooth (it is), but I felt that at times the sauce covered up some of the bite of the chili pepper.  So you may want to take that into account when dressing yours.  Other than that though, the recipe works great as is!

The finished product, glaze and all.

The finished product, glaze and all.

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One Response to “Thin Chops, Thick Flavor — Pork Chops with Ancho Chile Rub and Raspberry Glaze”

  1. Janean May 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    This is not vegetarian.

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