Friday Night Dinner: Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Grapes

I picked a lot of grapes this year (OK, my husband picked them because I was out of town). We finally beat the raccoons with an electric fence and all the grapes hanging were quite a bit – 18 pounds! They are small pink seedless grapes, a variety called Canadice from central New York. They are spicy, tart-sweet, and very tasty. But, you can only eat so many grapes. The expiration date was coming up on them. I had already turned them into raisins and a wine jelly. Found this recipe to use up the rest. This is easy, really easy!

One inch thick pork chops are just big though I know plenty of people who will happily eat a whole one. I try not to, but that’s a pretty typical serving. If you can resist devouring the whole thing, you can stretch this to serve more than 4; there is plenty of sauce. Of course, if you are part of my family, there will be war if you don’t get a bone with your chop. 🙂

Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Grapes
(serves 4-8)

4 bone-in 1″ thick pork chops, about 2 pounds total
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon oil
2 pounds green or red seedless grapes
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 – 3 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into a few pieces

Preheat the oven to 500°F.

Dry the chops and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in an ovenproof skillet large enough to hold all the chops. Brown the chops on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the chops to a plate and pour off the fat in the pan. Add the vinegar, and using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits in the skillet. Let the vinegar reduce slightly. Add the grapes and stir. Put the chops and any juices back in the skillet. Mound some of the grapes on top of each chop so they are basted by the grape juice. Place in the hot oven and roast for 10 minutes. Check the temperature. If they get to 130°F, they are done and you don’t want to overcook them. If they aren’t cooked enough, return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the oven and remove the chops to a heated dish. Using a slotted spoon, remove all the grapes and mound on top of the chops. Cover the chops with foil to keep warm. Return the skillet to the stove and cook over medium heat. Stir in the butter chunks and reduce the sauce until thick and glossy. Check the seasoning; add more salt if needed. Pour the sauce over the chops. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Adapted from Nicole Routhier’s Fruit Cookbook by Nicole Routhier, Workman Publishing Company, 1996.

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Author: worldplatterblog

I blog about food, travel, and anything else tangentially related to food that piques my interest. I have a degree in Culinary Arts and in Operations Research (it's math). That means I'm pretty analytical and love science, but I also love art. Food is a strange place where science intersects art in continually changing ways. I love writing about all of it.

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