Not too long ago, we decided to buy a FoodSaver vacuum system – mainly because our pastured chickens just come to us in plastic bags. This is mostly an issue because our poultry farmer only raises broilers during the summer – we buy the chickens six at a time and keep them in the freezer to have all year long (he processes the birds six times over the course of the summer months, so that’s 36 chickens, all told). Buy the time spring rolled around earlier this year, the last couple of chickens were showing signs of minor freezer burn.
So, we got the FoodSaver. What we didn’t realize when we bought it (via Amazon) was that it came with several plastic containers along with the bags. One is specifically for marinating; faced with a small pork loin roast with which I had no idea what to do, I cut it into chops and decided to use the marinating container to, well, marinate.
There was apple juice leftover from the company picnic, spicy brown mustard in the fridge and fresh rosemary in the herb garden. I whisked it all together, seasoned the chops with salt and pepper, popped them in the container, poured in the marinade, slapped on the lid, attached the hose, and sucked all the air out for 20 minutes. (Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea). Then I pan-fried those puppies up to a nice medium – and you know what? They were really good. Both Beloved and The Young One went back for seconds.
Winner, winner, pork chop dinner.
Note: I realize not everyone has access to a vacuum thingie, so the recipe gives a more standard marinade instruction. If you don’t eat pork, this would be really nice with chicken.
- 6 boneless pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
- salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lard or other cooking fat
- Rub the pork chops with salt and pepper; set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the apple juice, mustard and rosemary until well-blended. Place the pork chops in a heavy, re-sealable gallon plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag and seal; marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.
- Bring the pork chops to room temperature. Melt the lard in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Remove the chops from the bag; discard the marinade.
- Sear the pork chops until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Lower the temperature to medium-low; cover and continue to cook until the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145 F, about 7 minutes. Remove the chops from the skillet; cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Nutrition (per serving): 238 calories, 12.5g total fat, 80mg cholesterol, 107.3mg sodium, 473.6mg potassium, 5.1g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 4g sugar, 24.8g protein