Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pork Loin Chops with Potatoes in Tomatillo Sauce

This was based on Rick Bayless' Tomatillo-Braised Pork Loin recipe in his Mexico One Plate at a Time cookbook. I had some end cut, pork loin chops in the freezer, and didn't have any idea what to do with them. I sent a tweet to Rick and he suggested that I braise them in a tomatillo salsa.

1 1/2 T Olive Oil
2 pounds thick-cut pork loin chops
1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno (for a very mild dish, more for a spicier sauce)
1 medium white onion, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
1 1/2 pounds creamer size yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

Preheat the broiler with a rack placed about 4" from the heat source. Place the tomatillos and chile(s) on a sheet pan lined with foil. Broil for 5 minutes until the tomatillos and chile begin to char. Turn over and broil 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn the broiler off and turn the oven to 325 degrees. Once cool, transfer the tomatillos, chile and all the the juice from the tomatillos in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Bring the potatoes to a boil and simmer in salted water for about 10 minutes or until tender.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add the pork chops. Brown well on both sides and remove to a plate. Remove the pan from the heat and let the oil cool slightly. Place the pan back over medium heat, then add the onions and cook until soft. Turn the heat to medium high, add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the tomatillo mixture and cook until the mixture thickens and darkens. It will be very fragrant. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and cilantro. Add salt to taste.

Transfer the pork chops to the pan, and cover with the sauce. Cover the pan, place in the oven, and cook for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the potatoes to the pan and mix so both the chops and potatoes are covered with sauce. Return to the oven and cook 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and check the internal temperature of the chops. They should be 140 degrees. If not return to the oven and cook another 5 minutes.

Remove the chops to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

Adjust the sauce for salt, then serve the chops with sauce on top and potatoes on the side.

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