Thursday, 1 January 2009

Dijon honey pork chops

There always seem to be a lot of pressure to make a fuss about New Year's Eve/Day, with the requisite dining and partying. But the prospect of paying $70-90 just for some club entry, listening to loud music all night, mingling with strangers, and then having a nightmare of trying to make my way back home (with no taxi in sight and overcrowded public transportation) just do not appeal. A good meal out or just a well-cooked meal at home, perhaps with a couple of close friends or family, or just with the hubby, and watching the festivities on telly - that's more my kind of thing. Some people might find it boring but I like that it's relaxed and peaceful with no hangovers the next morning.

For dinner on the last night of 2008, we had dijon honey pork chops. An easy to cook dinner that takes little time except for the meat to marinate in the fridge. More time for catching with the brother-in-law who has arrived recently from London for a visit. He will be with us for 4 weeks and there are lots to do and plenty to catch up on, so my updates will not be terribly frequent. Not that I have been a model blogger the past month, but I promise to do my best!

The pork chops were served with spring onion mashed potatoes and slow roasted sweet peppers. This photo was taken a while ago, my apologies for the misleading vegetables! The pork chops were surprisingly tender (I am always concerned about overcooking meat). I think the marinating and particularly the acidity of the orange juice goes a long way in tenderising the meat. Pork loin is also a tender cut of meat that is well suited to quick and high heat cooking like stir frying and pan frying. I would normally buy cheaper cuts for oven cooking when there is sufficient time for the slow cooking to break down connective tissues.

Honey dijon pork chops

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 boneless pork loin chops, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp oil for cooking

1. Marinade the pork chops with salt and pepper, orange juice, honey, mustard and rosemary and leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan, and cook the pork chops over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
3. Pour about half of the marinade over the pork and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 6-7 minutes. Remove the chops and keep warm.
4. Pour the remaining marinade into the pan and cook, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes until reduced to thick gravy consistency. Spoon over the pork chops and serve.

However you spent your New Year's Eve, I hope 2009 brings you all good tidings and peace. Cheers to a good year ahead.


VeggieGirl said...


Nate-n-Annie said...

Here in the US, our pork loins are so lean that quick and high is the only way to cook it while keeping it moist. I actually aim for it to be still a little pink in the middle.

Happy New Year!

kokostiletto said...

mmmm that looks so good! have a great visit!

Lainie Petersen said...

Gorgeous pork chops and I agree with you: Big NYE bashes just aren't my thing. Much prefer to be with friends and family.

Kevin said...

Honey and dijon is a great combo and that looks like a tasty meal.

noobcook said...

What a great meal ... definitely looks tastier than most expensive new year's eve dinners out there ;) Have a delicious 2009!

thelaygastronomer said...

spring onion mashed potatoes - good call.

Heather said...

Happy New Year! That's such a nice looking plate. Love the veggies.

Pork shoulder certainly is cheap and flavorful, but requires the long cooking you mentioned. I go for the whole loin and slice my own chops. Very affordable that way, and a nice alternative to chicken breasts for fast thaw, quick-cooking, lean protein.

Lulu G said...

Looks delicious. I'm definitely going to make this.

tigerfish said...

I agree. Better than those overcharged New Year set dinner.

Ingrid said...

Hi, on Mon or Tues of this week I saw your photo on Tastespotting and hopped over. I printed out the recipe and on Wed. one of the twins and I made the marinade, then on Thursday cooked the pork complaints from any of my three children!! Yay!!!

Thanks for sharing the recipe. It's a keeper!

Nilmandra said...

Thanks for the kind comments, and happy new year to all!

Ingrid: Thanks for saying so, I'm really pleased to hear that it was a hit especially with the kids.

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