I keep intending to make Italian buttermilk pork chops but forgetting that it has to marinate for four hours. So when I go to fix dinner at six or eight in the evening, the pork chops just ain’t happening.
Instead, last night I went for a modified version of balsamic braised Italian sausage with onions posted on January 14th in the same blog. I was short on Italian sausage, but we had what Southern Honey dubbed “pork nuggets”: roughly two pork chops that he had cut into chunks when he cut up the tenderloin we bought last week for freezing. I made cheesy egg noodles and salad to go with it. The results, despite not having quite the right ingredients, were very good.
Ingredients for two servings (original recipe is for 4):
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound pork, cut into 1″ chunks
1/2 medium onion, sliced thinly
1/2 TBSP dried thyme leaves
Garlic powder (the recipe calls for garlic cloves, but I forgot until the last minute that I was out)
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
1 TBSP honey
Heat a skillet over medium high heat with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the pork and brown on all sides. Remove pork from the skillet and set aside.
To the same skillet, add the onions, thyme and garlic powder; season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions, sirring frequently, until they begin to caramelize or brown (FYI, this is rather hard to tell with red onions and will involve lots of “Is it browned yet? Is it caramelizing?” *rolls eyes*).
Add the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock , and honey. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then add the browned pork back to the pan and braise the pork until it is cooked through and the sauce has reduced by half.
Just don’t be like me and forget that you need little things like side dishes until you’re at the braising stage. Egg noodles take more time to cook than the liquid will most likely take to reduce, and starting them at this stage of the process will result in lots of juggling of temperatures not to overcook/undercook things. 😛
Oh, Cheesy Egg Noodles: Cook about 4 oz of egg noodles according to package directions. Drain. Return to pan and add shredded cheddar and colby jack cheeses, along with butter and pepper as you like it. Add a smidge of milk and stir until cheese is melted and noodles are gooey. (What? That’s totally a technical cooking term!)
If my plates seem to be a bit lacking on the meat portion, that’s because I’m apparently physically incapable of eating more than about three ounces of protein at a sitting. Fortunately for me, Southern Honey would rather be a carnivore than an omnivore, so he takes care of the extras.