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Pork Chops with Sherry Vinegar Sauce Recipe
Pork Chops with Sherry Vinegar Sauce

One of the best ways to achieve a sense of control is through cooking.

And the place to restore order can be found around the family dinner table.

Studies have shown that children who sit down to dinner with their parents regularly tend to do better in school, to be better-adjusted and have fewer problems. Not to mention the fact that, if those meals are cooked from scratch, using wholesome ingredients and a minimum of processed convenience foods, those children are also likely to be healthier. (And the more home-cooked meals you make, the more money you'll probably save toward their college education!)

One of the best ways to draw everyone to the table is to send out wonderful aromas from the kitchen. My recipe for Pork Chops with Sherry Vinegar Sauce will do exactly that, while being remarkably quick and easy.

The recipe begins with boneless pork chops, widely available in supermarkets. (Buy them in bulk, if you like, and freeze in freezer storage bags. Then, thaw as many as you need in the refrigerator overnight before you plan to prepare the dish.) I quickly sear them with a little oil and butter in an ovenproof skillet, and then finish cooking in a preheated oven for less than a quarter of an hour.

While the cooked chops, covered with foil, rest a few minutes so their hot juices will settle back into the meat, you have time to make a quick sauce. First, deglaze the flavorful pan deposits with fragrant sherry vinegar and dry sherry; then add broth, a spoonful of bottled barbecue sauce to enrich the flavor and thicken the consistency, and a dollop of Dijon mustard; and simmer briefly until the mixture is thick. Finally, meat and sauce come together on the plate, along with a colorful, flavorful garnish of chopped fresh tomato.

Altogether, this main course will take less than half an hour from start to finish. And while it cooks, you have enough time to cook some rice or another grain and steam or stir-fry a fresh vegetable side dish of your choice. Add a simple salad to start and an easy dessert to end, and the family meal is complete.

You'll be amazed by how easy it is -- and probably how much you'll find out from your children while they devour a delicious meal!

Pork Chops with Sherry Vinegar Sauce

Serves 4

4 boneless center-cut pork chops, each about 1-1/2 inches thick


Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon peanut oil or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

7 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar

3 tablespoons dry sherry

1 cup organic chicken broth

1 tablespoon store-bought tomato-based barbecue sauce

1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 small Roma (plum) tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced, for garnish

1 teaspoon minced fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy ovenproof saute pan large enough to hold the 4 chops over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter and swirl the pan to coat its bottom evenly. Add the pork chops and sear their undersides until nicely caramelized to a golden brown color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the chops over and sear for 1 minute longer.

Transfer the pan with the pork chops to the oven and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through but still juicy and very slightly pink in the center, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the pork chops to a plate, loosely cover with aluminum foil, and leave to rest while you make the sauce.

Carefully pour off excess fat from the pan. Return the pan to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Carefully pour in the sherry wine vinegar and sherry and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits. Stir in the broth and barbecue sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a brisk simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. Briskly whisk in the Dijon mustard and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

Transfer the pork chops to individual heated serving plates. Quickly whisk the juices that have collected in the plate into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over and around the chops and garnish with chopped tomato and chives. Serve immediately.

Pork Chop Recipe, French Cuisine


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Pork Chops with Sherry Vinegar Sauce

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