Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pork Chop with Sweet Potato Hash

I was off early one night in the lead up to Christmas and Ann was home from her parents' house, so I brought home some pork chops and some mâche, a light and slightly nutty salad green. None of us are eating/eating well given the current circumstances with Ann's father, so I am making a conscious effort to at least get us all around the table when I can.

The pork chops I put in a hickory bark syrup brine for about a week before cooking. These I seared in a hot black steel pan and then finished for about five minutes in a 400F oven. A quarter cup of hickory bark (or maple) syrup and a tablespoon of salt to a gallon of water makes a fine brine. Hickory bark syrup is made locally by boiling shagbark hickory bark in water and then adding turbinado sugar which gives it a smoky flavor.

Pork Chop with Sweet Potato Hash and Mâche Salad
I have for years made a sweet potato hash from sweet potatoes, onions, slab bacon, and dried cranberries. Once all is cooked, I deglaze the pan with bourbon to add a woody, caramel note. I spied a sweet potato on the counter and turned it into this hash. Ann wasn't a big fan but I'm not surprised: she's one of those that has an issue with fruit in savory dishes. I find that it a wonderful accompaniment to pork or duck.

Bourbon-Flambéed Sweet Potato, Bacon, and Cranberry Hash

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