Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pork Chops with Blackberry Pan Sauce and Melted Gruyere

Kris was out of town recently. While him going out of town makes me sad, it does have an upside - it means I can go buck wild in the kitchen. I can experiment with whatever I feel like, knowing that if it all goes tits up there's no one but me and the cats to know about it - I can simply call in a takeout order and pretend it never happened.

This experiment, however, proved to be a success. I had seen a recipe in one of my Williams Sonoma cookbooks for Fillet Mignon with Blackberry Sauce, and while I couldn't quite wrap my head around that, I thought chicken would make a good substitute. After all, the whole southern 'chicken & waffles' is a classic sweet and savory combination, as is turkey and cranberry sauce for that matter.

I then had a more random thought, remembering my mom saying that my grand dad had always eaten apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese on top. Again, that's not that crazy when you think about it either (i.e. the existence of fruit and cheese plates.) Somehow I decided that the best finishing touch on my experimental chicken would be a slice of nutty, creamy Gruyere to contrast the bright juiciness of the berry sauce. It was lovely, though I have to admit, I would have liked it just as much without it. This is one of those pan sauces you could put in a glass and drink.

Pork Chops with Blackberry Pan Sauce and Melted Gruyere
Serves 2.

2 pork chops (you can use either boneless or bone in, adjust cooking time accordingly)
salt and pepper
1 tablspoon butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil

small pat butter
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 tablespoon fig balsamic vinegar
tiny, 1 inch sprig of rosemary, snipped off one stalk
1 teaspoon honey
small pinch fresh cracked pepper
2 slices Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 200.

Season your pork on all sides with salt and pepper and set aside. Add the butter and olive oil to a large rimmed skillet and melt over medium high heat. Lower the heat slightly and add the chops, cooking about 2-3 minutes until you get a nice crust. Flip to the other side and cook another 2 minutes, just until cooked through (bone in will be closer to 4 minutes.)

Remove to a sheet pan and place in the oven to keep warm. Meanwhile, drain off the excess fat from the pan and return to medium heat, adding in a new small pat of butter. Add the berries and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Lower heat slightly and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Stir in the fig balsamic vinegar, rosemary sprig, honey, and fresh cracked pepper and cook another minute, until slightly thickened. (If you don't have fig balsamic vinegar, you can stir in the tiniest bit - half teaspoon or so of any flavor of jam.)

Remove the pork chops from the oven and top with a slice of Gruyere. Plate them and drizzle with the pan sauce.


Haley said...

You're a fancy one, Alisa Wixom, yes you are.

Can't you just hear Reba singing in the background..."Here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down..." Substitute hooker for gourmet chef and you've got yourself one heck of an anthem!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

I like Gruyere on just about anything, but this is truly inventive. I'm a bit wary, but I'll trust you on this one!

Peggy from Vancouver Island, Canada said...

Well howdy...
I am not a be honest I only finally understood what the hell a blog was after seeing Julie and Julia....but I had to write you and tell you about your recipe! I googled 'blackberry sauce for meat' and your blog came up and I thought what the hell. I had almost all of the ingredients and it seemed easy! Well O.M.G. it was amazing. Amazing!! I didn't have fig balsamic so I just used a snitch of regular balsamic and voila! I spooned it over BBQ pork chops and topped with the gruyere like you suggested. Holy Crap. Really good even! My boyfriend and I even licked our plates!! Well done! I posted it on our towns newpaper facebook site and gave your blog credit.

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Well thank you Peggy! This is the nicest comment I can recall in months if not years. Thank you so much for trying the recipe and for giving my little blog credit! Take care,

Alisa (The Meat and Potatoes Foodie;)

Peggy said...

plus I added you to my favorites...the only blog in there!

Christine's Pantry said...

New to your blog. Nice blog. Great recipe. I must try this. Thanks for sharing. I'm following now.