Savory. Succulent. Tender. Sweet.
We’re talking about pork, but not just any old cut. We’re talking about thick-cut boneless pork loin chops, in our opinion, one of the best and most flavorful cuts of pork. Boneless pork loin is essentially a pork loin chop without the bone. When you de-bone a whole pork loin, you end up with baby back ribs and a boneless pork loin. Pork loin chops are easy to cook, they’re big, meaty and tender – and while they’re fairly lean, they have enough fat to give them plenty of flavor.
This cut is easy to find just about anywhere, from your local grocery store to a high-end meat counter. You can buy boneless pork loin chops already cut, portioned and ready to cook, or you can buy a whole boneless pork loin and cut it yourself. It really depends on how much pork you want to buy at one time. If you’re cooking for a crowd, a whole loin is probably the most economical way to go. All you need to do is slice the loin into the desired thickness, typically 1-1/2 to 2 inches.
As good as pork loin is all by itself, it’s the sauce that makes this preparation particularly appropriate for fall. Made with fresh, tart apples and rich, dark amber Michigan maple syrup for fruity sweetness, dry mustard and mustard seed for tang, and a generous spike of freshly ground black pepper for vibrant heat, it makes the already tender, succulent pork loin chops absolutely swoon-worthy.
It’s essential that you use good maple syrup, by which we mean REAL maple syrup, in the sauce. Here at Earthy Delights, we think of maple syrup as much more than just a topping for pancakes and waffles. It’s become a staple ingredient in our kitchen, essential in many sauces, glazes and marinades. Live a little and treat yourself to some top-quality maple syrup. You’ll find that when you use the good stuff, a little bit goes a long, long way.
Pork Loin Chops with Peppered Maple-Mustard Glaze
The pork loin chops taste especially good when flame-grilled, but when the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can easily use a heavy skillet or grill pan and do all of the cooking indoors. The chops are finished in the oven, so you can cook them to the exact degree of doneness that you prefer.
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp dry mustard
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Pinch cumin
- 1/4 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
FOR THE PORK:
Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat, or prepare and light a barbecue grill. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the first eight ingredients in a saucepan and cook together over moderate heat for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the apples soften and become translucent and the sauce begins to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Turn the pork chops in the olive oil & season generously with salt and pepper. Place the chops on the hot grill pan or barbecue grill and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Baste the chops with a little of the sauce and cook for a minute or two more, turning once. Transfer to a baking pan and finish cooking the chops in the preheated oven for an additional 8 – 10 minutes, or until they reach the desired level of doneness.
Remove the chops from the oven, place one chop on each plate and spoon the sauce liberally over the top. Serve immediately.
Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.
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