Monday, December 28, 2009

Dinner on Sale Episode II- Pork Chops with Balsamic Reduction and Hand-Cut Coleslaw

Dinner should be both delicious an affordable.  As part of my series on creating meals with nothing but items on sale at your local grocer, I bring you this meal.  Now, I was at my local Genardi's, the store that I do most of my general meat shopping at, and I saw something I had never seen before.  The store called them "country style lion ribs" on the label, but they turned out to be simply the rib cut with half of a lion chop attached, as you can see in this picture (the loin in the large half circle muscle).  While there was a bit more fat on these "chops," they were only $0.98 /lb.  For six pieces of meat, they were about $2.60.  I decided to take these ""country ribs" and treat them just like pork chops.  I grabbed some white onions, also on sale for $0.99/lb, green cabbage on sale for $.99/lb, baby carrots on sale for $2.00/20 oz bag, and light cream at $.99/half pint.  I first prepared with coleslaw by cutting all of the ingredients, but only after salting the pork.  I quartered the cabbage and cut out the center support.  I halved each quarter down the middle and turned it up on it's side to shred.  After all of the cabbage was shredded, I skinned and put a fine julienne on the carrots (you can also run them through your mandolin on the fine julienne mode).  I also quartered an onion and shaved it thin. 
After the coleslaw was prepared, I began the pork.  I took the salted "chops" again and added pepper.  I took my saute pan and added a wild mushroom and sage infused extra virgin olive oil (I will tell you where this is from soon) and sauteed the meat over medium heat.  Before the meat was added, I threw into the hot oil some thyme, rosemary and minced garlic to flavor the oil.  Once the first side was seared nicely, I added more minced garlic and once diced onions.  I sauteed this delicious mixture for about 8 minutes on each side.  I took some pieces out of the mix earlier, as they were not as thick as others.  While the meat was cooking, I added some light cream into the prepared coleslaw veg with some salt, pepper, and store bought coleslaw dressing (I am working on my own recipe for coleslaw dressing, but for not I trust a brand called Marzetti).  After the coleslaw was finished, I turned back to the pork.  I made sure that the meat was all at proper temperature, and then removed the "chops" as they came to temp.  
Once the pan was empty, I poured off some of the cooking oil and placed back on the heat for about two more m minutes with nothing in it to allow the pan to heat up.  I then threw the last of the shaved onion into the pan and let sear.  I then added a special balsamic vinegar (bought the same place as the wild mushroom and sage olive oil) that was infused with cinnamon and pear into the pan to deglaze it.  The balsamic bubbles up and reduces VERY quickly into a nice drizzle.  The meat, slaw and glaze reached the plate in a sort of unusual plating for me.  It was a nice dish, though, that was accompanied by a salad with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, shaved onion, walnuts and goat cheese.  All in all, a nice meal for about $9.50 for two people.  

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