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Balsamic cranberry pork chops are elegant enough for company, but so quick and easy they’re the perfect weekday meal.
Great For Date Night: Balsamic Cranberry Pork Chops
Do you have a date night on the calendar? If your answer was “yes” and you plan to eat at home, this is the perfect recipe!
Since the recipe feeds only two, there’s no math involved in calculating the ingredients. Rest assured, this pork chop recipe is easily doubled or tripled if the need arises.
And the biggest watchword here is easy. I’m fond of always saying that some of the most gourmet-looking recipes are stupidly easy and use the simplest ingredients.
Fall Means Pork And Cranberries
Pork is an autumn thing–at least here in the northeast.
It’s when there are usually great sales on all cuts of pork be it roasts or chops or shoulder. Lots of times you can pick up a family pack of chops cut from the entire loin. They usually contain rib end, loin end and some center cut. While that deal is great for feeding the entire family, I tend to shy away and buy either bone-in center cut or an entire boneless loin and cut it up into chops and leave a piece for a roast.
This recipe is definitely better with bone-in center-cut chops, but I’ve used boneless ones I’ve cut off the entire loin on occasion. It’s pretty good and there’s no waste either.
Do you also have a random bag of fresh cranberries in your freezer too? I usually do because around Thanksgiving time they’re on sale 2-for-something that’s pretty cheap. I use one and pop the other in the freezer. I often forget I did that but that’s another conversation. This is a great place to use some of them. The sauce doesn’t use the entire bag, but I’m sure once you taste this pork and cranberry combo, they’ll soon get used up!
Rosemary? Yes, Rosemary
You usually never think of rosemary used with pork. It’s usually lamb and poultry.
But rosemary works wonderfully with pork, especially if there’s an acidic component.
You do have to be careful not to overdo it with this herb because there’s a fine line between savory and tasting medicinal. I always opt for using half of what’s called for when it’s an ingredients. That’s a personal taste, but before adding more I strongly urge you to taste the sauce. I used fresh here and a sprig of about 2-inches (for the cooking–what you see in the photo is the garnish).
If you don’t have any fresh, then I would start out with about 1/4 teaspoon of the dried stuff in the jar. That may not seem like much–either with the fresh or dried–but bear in mind the flavor will intensify since the sauce is reduced.
Balsamic Cranberry Pork Chops
- 2 center-cut bone-in rib pork chops
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs finely chopped onion
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary about 2-inches long. bruised
- 1 tbs unsalted butter
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the pork chops dry and sprinkle with a pinch of salt each. When oil is hot, add the chops and brown well on both sides. I kept turning them so they did not overbrown until they tested 165F/74C internal temp.
- Remove chops from pan and cover with foil. Lower heat to medium-low then add the onion. Cook for about 3 minutes so they're soft but not browned.
- Add the chicken stock, brown sugar, cranberries and rosemary. Stir well and cook for approximately 5 minutes or until liquid has slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and add the butter and balsamic vinegar. Stir well and add the chops back to the pan.