Pair with Jersey Girl Syrah

Double-Boned Pork Chop with Garlic Plum-Syrah Sauce


For the pork chop brine:

2 double rib bone-in pork chops, about 2 inches thick
1 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise
1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally
2 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp peppercorns, medley, or black peppercorns
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/3 C kosher salt

For the polenta:

1 1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C dry polenta
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 oz. Cabra Romero, or another mild, medium-firm goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

For the plum wine sauce:

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 C thinly sliced leeks, white part only
1 grated garlic clove
3 slightly overripe plums, diced
1/4 C Jersey Girl Syrah
1/3 C beef bone broth
1 sprig of thyme
1 tsp granulated sugar, if needed
Salt and pepper to taste

For the butter baste:

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp white miso paste
4 whole garlic cloves
2 sprigs of thyme
2 small fennel fronds


For the pork chop brine:
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 C water to a boil, then add in the fennel, garlic, thyme, peppercorns, sugar, and salt. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt, then take off the heat before adding another 1 1/2 of cold water to bring the brine down to room temperature. Divide the mixture between 2 gallon-size plastic bags, fitted inside 2 separate medium bowls, to keep the mixture from spilling. Add 1 pork chop to each bag, making sure to squeeze out all excess air so the pork is completely submerged in the brine. Let sit in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours.

For the polenta:
Bring milk and 1 1/2 C water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer before slowly whisking in the polenta. Cover, then reduce heat to low. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes until creamy and no gritty pieces remain about 30 minutes. Whisk in the grated Cabra Romero, finish with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside. When ready to serve, reheat over a low flame, adding a few splashes of beef bone broth leftover from the plum sauce to thin it out if needed.

For the plum-wine sauce:
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter before adding the leeks. Sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and plums and let simmer to release the juices from the plums. You can also use a potato masher to break down some of the pieces. Allow the plums to cook down over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes before pouring in the Jersey Girl. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the alcohol burns off, about 2 minutes. Add in the broth and sprig of thyme, simmer for 3 minutes. In a mesh sieve over a small bowl, strain the mixture through, using a spoon to agitate the liquid through the sieve. Let the sauce drip through for about 5 minutes, then discard the solids. Adjust the sauce with salt, pepper, and sugar if needed. For a thicker consistency, move the mixture back to the saucepan and let simmer on low heat until thickened to your liking. Otherwise, cover and set aside until ready to serve.

For the butter baste:
Mix (together) the butter and miso, then set close to the stovetop along with the garlic, thyme, and fennel ready to be used as soon as the pork chop is done in the oven.

To cook the pork chops:
Place a rack in the center of the oven, set temperature to 450 degrees F. Remove the pork chops from the brine, patting down with paper towels to soak up as much liquid as possible.

In a cast-iron over medium-high heat, add a tbsp of vegetable oil. Once the pan is hot, sear the pork chops on the first side for about 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Carefully turn to the other side to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the pork chops every 2 minutes until a golden-brown color develops on each side, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to the oven to cook uncovered, removing every 2 minutes to flip onto the other side carefully with a pair of tongs. Repeat this process until the chop registers at 130 degrees inserted horizontally at the thickest point.

Then, move the pan back to the stovetop to butter baste. Using the residual heat from the pan, add the butter-miso mixture, garlic, thyme, and fennel, tilt the pan to spoon the liquid quickly over the top of the pork chop repeatedly for about 1 minute. Let the pork rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.

To serve:
Cut ½” thick slices of pork off the bone. Serve on a bed of polenta with a drizzle of plum-wine sauce, a crack of pepper and a bit of fresh thyme– and a glass of Jersey Girl, of course.