A great, simple dish of pork chops, seared and then finished in the oven with a maple syrup-vinegar-Worcestershire sauce gravy, which gives the pork a bit of a sweet and sour flavor. We've adapted this recipe from one we found years ago in the Boston Globe.
Vermont Maple Syrup Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops
- 2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive 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
Brown the pork chops:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with a little salt. Heat the butter or oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Pat dry the chops with paper towels and place in sauté pan. Cook (without moving) enough to brown well, then flip over and brown the other side.
Remove the chops from the 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.)
Make the sauce:
Add the minced onion to the sauté pan in which you browned the pork, and sauté 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 the sauce over the pork chops in the baking dish. Lower the heat to 350°F 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 temperature of the pork reaches 145°F.
Brown sliced onions (optional):
In the same sauté pan that you used to make the sauce, add a little oil and heat to medium high. 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.
Thicken gravy with flour:
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.