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PORK CHOPS with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce

By September 18, 2022No Comments
PORK CHOPS with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce

If I could, I would eat the traditional Thanksgiving meal once a week. I crave those warm, fall flavors that go so well together. One of my favorite nearby restaurants—Chow in Lafayette, California—has something on the menu that always fulfills my craving: grilled chicken with mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and Brussels sprouts loaded with bacon.

For my homemade version, I decided to use one of my favorite meats, the double-cut pork chop, and keep the sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. Humanely and cleanly raised pork is one of the hardest meats to find, so make sure to do your research.

PORK CHOPS with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

PORK CHOPS

  • Kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 cup [120 ml] maple syrup
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups [480 ml] hot water
  • 2 cups [280 g] ice cubes
  • 4 double-cut, bone-in pork chops, about 3 1⁄2 lb [1.6 kg]
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish Flaked sea salt for garnish

CRANBERRY SAUCE

  • 1 orange
  • 12 oz [340 g] fresh cranberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1⁄4 cup [60 ml] maple syrup
  • 1⁄2 cup [100 g] firmly packed brown sugar Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 apple, finely diced

MASHED SWEET POTATOES

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lb [910 g], unpeeled)
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 cup [110 g] unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cloves
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • To make the pork chops: Combine 1⁄2 cup [160 g] of kosher salt, the maple syrup, allspice berries, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a large bowl. Pour in the hot water and stir to dissolve the salt and maple syrup. Add the ice cubes, and stir until melted, with the liquid no longer warm to the touch. Place the pork chops in the brine and cover. Refrigerate for at least 11⁄2 hours or up to overnight.
  • To make the cranberry sauce: Peel the zest from the orange in wide strips, then juice the orange. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange zest and juice, cranberries, cinnamon stick, maple syrup, sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the orange zest and cinnamon stick. Stir in the apple and set aside.
  • To make the mashed sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C]. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until very tender, about45 minutes. Let stand at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Remove the peels, and use a ricer or handheld masher to mash the sweet potatoes into a saucepan or small Dutch oven. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook, swirling frequently, until the butter browns and smells nutty, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour the brown butter into the mashed sweet potatoes, along with the maple syrup, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and stir to combine. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
  • While the sweet potatoes are roasting, remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Drizzle the pork chops with the oil, and season generously on both sides with kosher salt, pepper, and the chopped rosemary. Arrange the pork chops on the grill pan, and cook until charred and golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the pork chops to a baking sheet, and place in the oven with the sweet potatoes; cook to your preferred doneness, about 145°F [63°C] for medium-rare, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Warm the cranberry sauce gently over low heat. Divide the mashed sweet potatoes among individual plates. Slice the pork chops and arrange over the mashed sweet potatoes; sprinkle with extra chopped rosemary and flaked sea salt. Spoon some of the cranberry sauce on the side and serve.
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Reprinted from The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Be Well by Amanda Haas with permission from Chronicle Books, 2019. Photographs © Erin Kunkel.