Fat Tommy’s Calvados Cream Pork Chop with Grits Recipe

Fat Tommy’s Calvados Cream Pork Chop with Grits Recipe
Staff Writer
Grits
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Grits

This is a sensational dinner in which the sauce for the pork chop cozies up to the grits and adds a new dimension. It’s not hard to make unless you drink too much of the Calvados while cooking. 

Quality matters enormously with pork and I find myself enjoying the swiney flavor of small-farm-raised heirloom pork, pricey though it is. I like my pork chops about an inch thick, but this means you will have to sear them in a pan and finish them in the oven to have them cook to medium or more.

Click here to see the story What's a Grit?

Ingredients

For the grits:

For the pork chop:

  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 center-cut, bone-in heirloom pork chop about 1-inch thick
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet cream unsalted butter

For the Calvados cream sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • ¼ cup finely diced jalapeño
  • ¼ cup finely diced, peeled Granny Smith apple
  • 1 clove garlic, bruised and peeled
  • Dash of ground sage
  • ¼ cup Calvados or Applejack brandy
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup warmed heavy cream
  • Salt, pepper, and Tabasco, to taste

Directions

For the grits:

Follow the directions for true grits. I generally kick my dinner grits up with hot peppers, but this sauce has jalapeño, so that may be enough.

For the pork chop:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Salt and pepper the chop and pressing into the flesh with your hand. Then dredge the chop in the flour and shake off all but the light dusting of flour that remains.

Sear the chop in the oil and butter in a heavy pan over moderately high heat for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the chop to an oven pan and heat at 350 degrees for an additional 5-10 minutes while the sauce is cooking. The chop will be ready when a meat thermometer reaches 140 degrees. When ready, remove from the heat and let it rest, covered in foil, for about 5-10 minutes. It should get to about medium doneness while resting. 

For the Calvados cream sauce:

Pour off the cooking oil and butter from the pork chop pan but retain the fond. Put butter in the pan and sauté the onion, pepper, apple, and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened. Be careful not to burn the onions or garlic. When the ingredients are thoroughly softened toss the garlic pod, add a dash or so of ground sage and the Calvados. Use the Calvados to deglaze the pan and let it reduce for a minute or 2. Add the cider and chicken stock and cook those down for another minute or 2 then slowly add the warmed heavy cream. Cook until the sauce has thickened then taste for seasoning. 

Artfully arrange a plop of grits on a plate and place the pork chop ever so delicately on the grits. Pour the juices from the resting chop into the sauce and give it a final stir before spooning it over the pork chop. Enjoy.

Note: I would find a wonderful Riesling to drink with this; either a kabinett or a spatlese. When in doubt, see if you can find a Dr. Loosen or a S.A. Prum. If you are budget stricken, try a good Torrontes from Argentina. 

Pork Chop Shopping Tip

Bone-in cuts tend to be slightly less expensive than their boneless counterparts, and have more flavor.

Pork Chop Cooking Tip

According to the USDA, the recommended internal temperature for cooked pork should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

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