Sunday, February 19, 2012

Recipe Review: Pork Chops with Garlic and Wine


If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what else to say.

On my quest to try a new recipe each week, I tuned into one of my favorite celebrity bloggers, Ree, the Pioneer Woman. If you're questioning whether Ree qualifies as a celebrity, I would say she most certainly does! She isn't a celebrity who blogs, she is a blogger who has become a celebrity.

Did I ever tell you that I was once seconds away from meeting her and missed my chance? My Mom and I were at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport on our way home from visiting my sister Kristin in Kansas City. When got to the bottom of the escalator that takes you to baggage claim I saw a driver holding a sign that said A. Drummond. I stopped my Mom and told her that Ree's name is Anne Marie Drummond and what a coincidence... do you suppose? Maybe? But, my Dad was waiting for us in the car and they don't let you sit in the car there for very long, so we grabbed our bags and hurried out to the curb. As it turned out, the sign was for her... she was in Minneapolis for a book signing. And I missed my chance to meet her.

Anyway, back to the recipe review...

While browsing The Pioneer Woman's blog, I came across her recipe for Pork Chops with Garlic and Wine and thought I'd try it. My hubby isn't a huge fan of pork chops in general, so I'm always open to a new and different way to try to make them that he might like. I do now have a couple of pork chop recipes on file that he does like, so I wasn't desperate for a pork recipe, but we'd been having a lot of chicken lately, so pork chops sounded like a welcome change.

Let me just say that this meal was fabulous... it was rich and robust and definitely one of those meals you eat slowly, by candle-light, with a big fat glass of red wine, and no place else to be. So, eating it with a 3-year old was maybe not ideal, but he did like it!

Cliff said to Gavin, "Gavin, wasn't this really nice of Momma to make us this good food?"
G: "Yeah, it's wike she's a chef!"
C: "Yeah, it IS like she's a chef!"
G: "Except Momma isn't a chef, because Momma is pretty and Chef's aren't pretty"

I die.

Cliff and I both just turned to eachother, tilted our heads, and shared a knowing smile, knowing that those three words "Momma is pretty" just made my week!

With the Pork Chops, I served creamy home-made herbed mashed potatoes Betty Crocker's mashed potatoes and frozen steam-in the bag peas with butter. Ree suggests serving with a crisp lettuce salad, which would have been perfect for lunch or a light dinner, but I decided to go the more traditional meat and potatoes route this time.

Here is the recipe.

Pork Chops with Garlic and Wine


  • 6 whole Pork Chops (medium-to-thin) - I actually used 8 thick chops
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1-½ cup Red Wine
  • ½ cups Beef Broth (more If Needed) - I used a cup and a half and then added a bit of flour to thicken it
  • 1 whole Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 18 whole Peeled Garlic Cloves - I used about 8 cloves and sliced the large ones in half the long way
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter (additional)

Preparation Instructions:

Heat oil and butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops and sear them on both sides until they’re nice and golden, about 2 minutes per side. (No need to completely cook the chops at this point.) Remove the chops from the skillet and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-high, then throw in the whole garlic cloves. Stir them around and cook them for several minutes, or until they get nice and golden brown.

Pour in the red wine, then add the bay leaf. Stir around and let it reduce, raising the heat if necessary. Cook the sauce for several minutes, or until it’s nice and reduced and thick.

Stir in the beef broth (you can add more if it needs the liquid) and add the chops back into the cooking liquid, arranging them so that they’re swimming in the sauce. Allow the chops to cook in the liquid for a few minutes, then pour in the balsamic. Shake the pan to get it to distribute, then cook for a couple more minutes, or until the pork chops are done.

Remove the chops from the pan once more, then let the sauce reduce a little more if needed until it’s very thick and rich and the garlic is soft. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle in a little salt and pepper.

Arrange pork chops on a platter, then pour the whole skillet of sauce (including garlic) over the top.

It was fantastic. As noted in the ingredient list, I did a few things differently. I wanted more sauce, so I added more broth (and slightly more wine) that the recipe called for. The sauce was too thin for my liking after adding the beef broth, so I added a little flour to thicken it up a bit.

This was one of those Lick-Your-Plate-Clean meals. There wasn't even a smidge of gravy left on our plates. Take my advice and finish off the bottle of wine you opened for this too!  We enjoyed a bottle of Buck Naked from Valiant Vineyards in Vermillion, South Dakota, a gift from our lovely friend Steph.

Ree offers a handy printable of the Pork Chops with Garlic and Wine recipe HERE.


John said...

This sounds really delicious! How do you print the recipe w/o all the other stuff? It sounds like you have a bucholic life & very different from life here in West Hollywood, Ca. Good luck w/ your growing family & go Packers!

The Slackers' Book Club said...

This was a great recipe and I admire a woman who actually writes them down. I keep telling my husband, my first cook book will be called, All the Recipes I Never Wrote Down. Well he loved these chops, as did I, and wants me to check to see what other goodies Ms Jennings might have posted. We live in upstate NY and will probably double the garlic gloves next time but it was super and went well with my Port poached pears for dessert.