2 pork chops (each pack from the farm store contains two)
1-2 cops pickle juice for brine
½ cup raw honey
½ cup apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Zest from squeezed oranges
1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 cup dry polenta (I’m using Bob's Red Mill)
½ pack bacon chopped (about 1 pound)
2 cups chopped dandelion greens (or a sturdy tender leaf like baby kale)
1 hot pepper (fresno, jalapeno, wax pepper, I used spicy chili paste.)
3 cups water, broth or raw milk for cooking polenta (I used a lamb Pho broth I made)
2 Tbsp of pickle brine to deglaze your bacon and greens (apple cider vinegar or worcestershire can work here)
½ onion chopped
2 cloves garlic sliced
1. Submerge pork chops in pickle brine and set in the fridge for at least 4 hours and no more than 10! Don’t stress if you don't have time to brine. It will still be delish.
*Brining helps add salt, flavor and tenderness to a cut of meat.
*If you don't brine, salt your pork generously on both sides and let it absorb that salt while you’re cutting your veggies etc.
2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
3. Chop onions, chili pepper and slice garlic. Set aside.
4. Chop up your pack of bacon into tiny pieces and set it aside in a separate bowl. Chop up dandelion greens and set them aside separately as well. I know this is a lot of setting aside, but it will make your life MUCH EASIER.
5. In a sauce pot combine orange zest, juice, vinegar, honey and mustard. Bring to a low simmer and reduce this sauce by half or until it’s thick and syrupy.
*If your glaze gets too thick after it cools a bit, you can always add a touch of water to thin it out.
*If it is totally liquid and watery after it cools a bit, put it back on the heat and reduce it until it thickens or coats the back of a spoon.
6. Add your polenta liquid to a pan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until it's nice and thick (about 5ish minutes) Season with salt until you can taste salt and turn off the heat. Set aside.
*Polenta will cook at different rates depending on how fine it is and how hot your pan is.
*Check your polentas texture by tasting it often.
*Once the graininess is gone and it has a nice creamy texture, you can set it aside in a warm spot.
7. In a hot sauté pan sear your pork chops on both sides until golden brown. Pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes until they reach an internal temp between 138 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
*If you don’t use a thermometer, how will you know when it's done?
*If your porkchop comes out at 131 degrees just pop it back in the oven a bit.
*Pork Chops will cook at different rates depending on the size, so always temp your smallest one first as it will cook faster than a fat daddy one!
8. Allow your pork chops to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into them so they can absorb and hold onto all their juices!
9. Add your chopped bacon to your pork chop pan, and cook it until it is almost crispy. (Pour off your bacon fat into the polenta! YUM.)
10. Add your garlic, onion and chili pepper to the pan. Sautee for 2ish minutes or until soft.
11. Turn off the heat, add in your greens and move them around until they are just wilted.
12. TIME TO PLATE
Add your polenta to the center of a plate or bowl.
Set a pile of greens off to the side of your polenta.
Add your chop on top.
Drizzle that orange sauce all over the top.
ENJOY! HAPPY COOKING!
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