When cooked down into a thick reduction, balsamic vinegar becomes a tangy syrup that makes an unrivaled coating for succulent pork chops.
To boil it down (no pun intended!): My Plum-Apple Chutney, a simple fruit compote of apples, plums, sugar, and spices, is as versatile a condiment as it gets. It's the perfect accompaniment to my Balsamic Pork Chops and just about any meat or poultry you cook in the fall months.
Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 bone-in pork chops, about 6 to 8 ounces each
- 2 pounds sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 2 pounds Fuji apples, cored and quartered (skins left on)
- 2 pounds red plums, pitted and chopped into 2-inch chunks (skins left on)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops:
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the pork chops and sear 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
Return the pork chops to the pan and add the chicken broth and thyme. Cover, raise the heat to medium high, and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a pork chop registers 160°, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Serve with the onions and pan sauce. If desired, reduce and thicken the pan sauce (after removing the pork chops) by simmering an additional 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
For the Plum-Apple Chutney:
Combine the apples, plums, water, apple juice, sugar, and cinnamon in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the fruits are fork-tender about 40 minutes.
Stir in the vanilla extract and simmer 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm or chilled.
Reprinted with permission from the KewlBites cookbook by Reed Alexander.