We’re lucky to live minutes away from a gorgeous farm called Glynwood, a nonprofit farm that not only sells its produce, meat and eggs (through a CSA program and directly off of the farm), but that also works with communities to preserve farmland and support local farmers and sustainability efforts. A couple of weeks ago Ella and I stopped by to visit the new baby sheep and goats and came home with a satchel of pasture-raised beef, chicken and pork for the freezer (for me, there are few things as satisfying as having a freezer full of delicious dinner options). One Friday I tossed some pork chops in the fridge on our way out the door for a weekend trip. On Sunday evening, when we arrived home tired and hungry (and without groceries), the chops were defrosted and ready for the skillet. A quick pan sauce of pantry staples—shallots, garlic, capers, white wine and some parsley that was bundled away in the vegetable drawer—made for an extraordinary combination with the Glynwood pork.
The sauce is intensely flavorful, and I suspect it would also be an excellent complement to sautéed white fish (think flounder or halibut) or thinly pounded chicken breasts. The meat itself had an unparalleled flavor—I’m not sure if James was impressed or revolted by the fact that I not only cleaned my bone, but also his. Farm-raised pork has real flavor that’s as far from the bland (and often tough) chops from the mega-mart as farmstead cheddar is from pre-packaged slices of American. Paired with butter-roasted potatoes from our cellar and a simple salad of (slightly wilted) greens, it was a beautiful meal that made us forget all about our unpacked suitcases and awaiting laundry.
Pork Chops with Shallot Caper Sauce
- 4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
- 1/3 cup minced shallots (about 1 large shallot)
- 4 large cloves garlic , minced
- ¼ cup capers , drained
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Pat the pork chops dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme on both sides. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes or up to an hour.
- Heat the ghee or olive oil in a large skillet (I use my cast iron skillet for this) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pork chops. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 5-7 minutes. Turn the chops over and cook 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast 8-10 minutes or until cooked through (the internal temperature should read 145˚F).
- Transfer the pork chops to a platter or plates and tent with foil to keep warm. Pour off most of the fat in the skillet. Put the skillet over medium heat and add the shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the capers and cook 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine and simmer until reduced by half (there won’t be much liquid left). Remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter and parsley. If any juices have accumulated under the pork, pour them into the sauce as well. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops and serve.