Cooking with Jam: Drunken Pork Chops with Fig and Onion Marmalade
March 28, 2012
I would love to say that each jar of jam I make is a smashing success. It would be great if each jar was filled with mouth watering combinations of fruits that strained our self-control through the winter. In fact many of the jams filling our pantry do exactly that. The Three Berry Jam of last July is long gone. Each weekend we dole out the last drops of the Mixed Berry Syrup over yet another batch of Buttermilk Pancakes. There is only one last jar of Strawberry Rhubarb to get us through until truly sweet strawberries start cropping up at the Farmers’ Market. Yes, these are fantastic jams that I cannot wait to make again. The same cannot be said for the poor Drunken Fig Jam I made (too much of) last summer. They cannot all be winners.
Perhaps it is the brandy- I am not a big fan, or the need for a bit more acidity, whatever the reason, the fig jam did not fly off the shelves. It got to the point when I began to consider the unthinkable- tossing the jam in favor of freeing up the precious real estate, when I discovered a recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook and adapted this recipe.
Drunken Pork Chops with Fig and Onion Marmalade is perhaps the perfect application of this drunken jam. Pork pairs so beautifully with sweetness and fig is no exception. For this dish, the pork chops sear off first, then nestle down into a saucy bed of well caramelized onions bathed in rosemary-infused brandied fig jam. The dish simmers slowly as the pork cooks through and the flavors meld. In the end, the pork is incredibly tender and awash in a deliciously sweet and savory sauce. No ample stash of drunken fig jam in the pantry? Just add some apricot or plum jam and a splash of brandy.
How do you cook with jam? Feel free to link to your recipe below.
Drunken Pork Chops with Fig and Onion Marmalade
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
4 thick-cut pork chops
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions (1 1/2 pounds total), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise.
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup Drunken Fig Jam ( or another jam- apricot, plum, or currant and 3 tablespoons brandy)
Trim excess fat from pork chops. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. In a heavy 10-inch skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté pork chops until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork chops with tongs to a plate.
In drippings remaining in skillet sauté onion until it begins to brown. Add water, vinegar, and jam. Bring to a boil, stirring until jelly melts. Simmer mixture, covered, over moderate heat until onion is tender, about 25 minutes.
Return pork and any accumulated juices to skillet, cover, and cook turning once until the chop registers 145 degrees F. Uncover and cook over low heat until almost all liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes to soak up the sauce.
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