In early November, we went to a local restaurant that changes its menu weekly to recipes that highlight a different state. They cycle through all 50 states over the course of the year. The week we went, the featured state was Vermont. My husband and my son both got the Vermont Maple Syrup Pork Chops. I thought that I would look for a recipe that was similar to the recipe the boys had tried at the restaurant. I found this recipe on simplyrecipes.com. It made some yummy pork chops. I have to say that I enjoyed these very much. In fact, my husband said he liked mine better than the ones served at the restaurant except that those chops were much thicker.
Vermont Maple Syrup Pork Chops
Cooking time will vary widely, depending on how thick your pork chops are.
4 pork chops (bone-in or center cut)
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced onion, plus 1 medium onion sliced (sliced onion optional)
1 tablespoon apple cider or white vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste
About 1 tablespoon flour to thicken the gravy
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the butter or oil in a large saute pan on medium high heat Pat dry the chops with paper towels. Lightly salt the pork chops then brown each side in the saute pan. Cook just enough to brown, then remove from pan and place into a high-sided baking dish or roasting pan. (If your pork chops are very thin and have cooked through at this point, skip the oven step and tent them loosely with aluminum foil while making the sauce.)
2. Add the minced onion to the saute pan in which you browned the pork, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until the onion begins to brown. Add the vinegar, chili powder, pepper, maple syrup, water, and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Pour this sauce over the pork chops in the baking dish. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes for thick (1-inch thick) chops, 5-10 minutes for thin (1/2-inch thick) chops, or until the interior of the pork reaches 145 degrees F.
3. Optional: In the same saute pan that you used to make the sauce, add a little oil and heat to medium heat. Cook the sliced onions in the pan, allowing the onions to pick up any sauce remaining in the pan. Cook until lightly browned, while the pork chops are baking.
4. Place the pork chops on a serving platter and loosely tent with foil. Pour the sauce into the saucepan you seared the chops in and whisk in 1 tablespoon flour to thicken the gravy. Salt to taste, and serve the gravy over the chops and (optional) onions.
Yield: Serves 4.