Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pork Chops with Sauteed Pears and Onions


Today was a fun day.  Hubby took me around to two different farmer's markets and we purchased lots of local vegetables and meat.  I was so excited to actually find Apple Chicken Sausage that I think the Amish gal behind the counter thought I was a little on the crazy side.  Hey, what can I say... simple minds, simple pleasures...

Tonight I made a meal that was ripe with fresh food from the farmer's market.  The pork chops I confess I didn't get at the farmer's market although, I would probably get them there in the future.  Today was a big meat sale at a local grocery store so I stocked up on some of my meat there while other meat I got when I did my happy dance when I found the sausages.  The bulk of the work I did tonight was all in the chopping.  I had to chop pears and onions for the pork chops, and for the side dish (which is also Paleo) I chopped zucchini, squash, garlic and more onions.

These recipes are adapted from Simply Paleo and Paleo Plan.  Each called for using coconut oil to cook the ingredients in, and I used bacon fat instead.  mmm... bacon...  I seared the pork chops in my cast iron skillet for about 5 minutes on each side in some melted bacon fat then moved the skillet into an oven that was preheated to 450 and cooked it for another 10 minutes or so.  At the same time I cooked my other dishes and I highly recommend prepping them before hand.  If you try to cut everything after you start cooking your pork chops, you may end up over cooking your chops.  Yeah - I didn't do that or anything...

So with all the vegetables cut, in one skillet put the pears and 1/2 a white onion and some more bacon fat. Add in a few sprigs of thyme and let that cook for 15 minutes.  I was a little unsure of the thyme but it gave the pears a great flavor.  In another skillet I started cooking the side dish.  2 sliced zucchini, 2 sliced squash, 1 sliced shallot, 2 minced garlic cloves, and... you guessed it... some bacon fat.  Cook that till the veggies are nice and tender then add about 6 oz of tomato sauce and heat it up and you're good to go.


Serve the pork with the pear and onion mixture with some thyme as a garnish.  Not to eat, just to make some pretty pictures.  I guess you can munch on it if you want.  The stems aren't great to eat but the little leaves are perfectly edible.  


Verdict: Everyone loved this meal.  The pears had a great flavor, the zucchini and squash tasted great, all around it was delicious.  Kids liked it, hubby liked it, easy for me to prepare and I liked it.  Definitely will be a repeat meal.

PORK CHOPS WITH SAUTEED PEARS AND ONIONS
Serves 4

Ingredients for the pork chops:
4 boneless pork chops
3 TBSP bacon fat
Ingredients for the Pears and Onions:
2 ripe pears, sliced
½ white onion, sliced
4 sprigs of thyme
2 TBSP bacon fat

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450.
2. Chop the pears and onions in prep for later.
3. Melt the bacon fat in a cast iron skillet or other oven safe skillet.
4. Put your chops in the melted fat and LEAVE THEM ALONE!  Let them cook for 5-6 minutes on each side without moving them.  Sear them to get them nice and crispy. 
5. Move them to the oven after each side has seared and cook for 10 minutes or until they are done.
6. While they are cooking (like around step 4) melt 2 TBSP of bacon fat in another skillet.
7. Add the pears, onions, garlic and thyme to the skillet and saute on medium for about 15 minutes.
8. Spoon the pears mixture over the chops to serve. 

ZUCCHINI AND SQUASH SAUTE
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 TBSP bacon fat
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (6”-8”) zucchini, sliced
2 (6”-8”) yellow squash, sliced
6 oz tomato sauce

Directions:
1. In large skillet, heat bacon fat over medium-high heat.
2. Cook onion 3-4 minutes until tender and translucent.
3. Add zucchini, squash, and garlic and cook until almost tender (5-6 minutes.)
4. Stir in tomato sauce and cook until heated through.

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