It seems the sun is having a difficult time finding its way to Vermont this spring. And while I’d rather be cooking out on a grill, the perpetual dreariness still has me inside and largely using produce from last season. And that’s alright. But I did finally dig up my garden and plant a few seeds this week and I’m happy about that.
While I’m over the filling stew-like dishes of winter, I like the simplicity of these pork chops and turnips. They’re browned and simmered in one pan and aside from a minimal sauce, don’t need much else. It reminded me of how much I enjoy the combination of braised meat and vegetables. It’s a good technique to know. The particular kind or cut of meat can change, and any root vegetable would work here too.
- 2 3/4 – 1 inch thick, bone in pork chops
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 pound turnips or rutabaga, cut into one inch pieces
- 1 cup white wine, chicken stock, or cider
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Let your pork chops come to room temperature for a few minutes. This helps the meat cook evenly in the pan. Then season both sides with salt and pepper.
Pre-heat a saute pan over medium high heat for a minute or two. Preheating is important, so don’t skip it. Add your oil and let that get hot as well. Both of these steps will help the pork chop, or any piece of meat, in browning. Also, be sure to give the meat plenty of space in the pan.
Let the meat sear, without disturbing, about 3-4 minutes on each side. The meat should sizzle when it hits the pan. If oil starts flying out, cover the pan for a minute and lower the heat a little.We’re not looking to fully cook the pork in this step, just get a nice browning.
When both sides are browned, remove the chops from the pan, set aside, and add in the chopped turnips.
Then add in the liquid, 2 tablespoons of parsley, butter and brown sugar. Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove anything that might have stuck during browning.Cover, let the turnips simmer for 10-15 minutes, until almost tender, then add the pork chops back in.
The chops should be sitting in the liquid, add a little more if this is not the case, and put the cover back on the pan. simmer for another 5 minutes or so, until the pork is cooked through (at about 145F) and the turnips are completely tender.
Portion the turnips on two plates, top each with a pork chop, juice from the pan and the remaining parsley.