Sometimes, entire meals can be built around one single ingredient. For example, if you're craving something really cheesy, you might decide to make macaroni and cheese. My kids love cinnamon toast, but let's face it: the toast is merely a vehicle for the cinnamon-y, sugary topping they so crave. And of course, there are times when you look in your pantry, see something that strikes your fancy, and decide to plan your meal based on using that something. This pork chop meal was born in a similar fashion.
I have had this little jar of coarse, grainy mustard sitting around in my cabinet for a little while now. I never wanted to open it until I had a really great use for it. Finally, I found this recipe for Maple-Glazed Pork Chops, and I decided that this would be the recipe that would finally have me cracking open that little mustard jar.
Here's the kicker: the original recipe didn't even call for grainy mustard! It's a simple maple glaze recipe, with pure maple syrup, ketchup, prepared mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. To me, though, it was screaming out for this grainy mustard. I know I've seen maple mustard pork chop recipes elsewhere, but I loved the method of preparation (oven-baking) in this particular recipe, so I decided to go with this one and modify it.
I pan-seared the chops on both sides for a few minutes, then transferred them to a baking dish. The glaze, which had been boiled to slightly thicken, was brushed on and then the pork chops were put into the oven to bake. Every 8 minutes or so, I removed them from the oven and basted them with the glaze. After a half hour or so, they were ready to eat! I put together a side dish of veggies with rice, and made some dinner rolls with the aid of my bread machine. Voila, dinner!
The pork chops turned out absolutely delicious! The glaze, in particular, really was the star of the whole shebang. I will say, though, that it is quite dominantly a maple flavor that you get, more so than a mustard flavor. It's sweet, it's tangy, and it's got a saltiness from the Worcestershire. Make sure you use a really good quality maple syrup for this, since it's so noticeable in the finished product. Good ol' Aunt Jemima will not do here!
Maple-Glazed Pork Chops
adapted from Food.com
makes 4 pork chops
4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rub pork all over with the salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients; mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Set aside.
2. While the sauce comes up to a boil, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides, about 4 minutes per side, then remove to a baking dish lined with aluminum foil.
3. Brush the chops with the glaze. Bake the pork chops for 30 minutes, basting with the glaze every 8 to 10 minutes. When finished basting, bring any remaining glaze to a boil and serve with the pork chops. Rest chops for at least 5 minutes before serving.