Friday, July 25, 2008

Pork Chops

I have become a great fan of the "Manager's Specials" bin at Safeway and King Soopers. On the "best if purchased by..." date or sometimes 1 or even 2 days before, all kinds of meats are reduced by 30%. If it is the actual last day, sometimes the price is reduced by half and then a "save 30%" label goes on. I've gotten some remarkable deals.

Yesterday I found two bone-in pork chops for which I paid about $2. Their sale date wasn't until tomorrow so I wasn't sqeamish about buying them. I am squeamish about chicken and those marinated meat things. Beef or lamb I consider just to be "aged" by the expiration date.

I've got my eye on some boneless leg of lamb whose date is this coming Monday. I'll hit the specials bin starting on Saturday in the hope of getting lucky. I've got the bee in my brain to make corned lamb. Yes, you read that correctly. I have googled "corned lamb" and find no recipes for it. However, in Australia and New Zealand there are varities of corned lamb which is canned. I have to tell about it if I do make it. I also found recipes for corning game meats such as elk, moose, etc. I can't think of a reason why, if you can make corned beef, what's to stop you from making corned lamb.

Anyhow, when I set out to blog today, I had only one simple idea in mind: my contribution to today's dinner. It involves those pork chops. Peter has been planning for a couple of days to make some Asian peanut noodles and inquired if I had anything in mind to accompany them. Indeed I did.We had a rather pedestrian breakfast in a Mexican place last Friday. I ordered pork chops and eggs. What I was served was a 1/4" thick chop, bone-in. It had a red sauce on it and was pretty good. I've seen TV chefs pound pork chops very thin and sear them and that's what I have in mind to do.

Over lunch today Peter suggested doing something that would give the chops at least a hint of something to complement his eastern dish.A little research gave me a couple of ideas. The one I like the best is also the simplest: brine the chops, cut the meat off the bones, pound it flat (like a paillard), brush on some hoisin sauce about 15 minutes ahead, and sear them on the grill. What could be simpler than that.Even though I'm writing in the present tense (as in today), I'll post this tomorrow after we've had the opportunity to see how this turns out.

Ok, now it's Friday and I can report on the pork chops. They tasted really good. However, I cooked them a bit too long. They tightened up on me. I'll do this again soon and have the courage to get the chops off the grill within no more than one minute on the second side. After all, they will do some carry-over cooking.

If you try this recipe, do a better job than I did with the actually grilling.

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