When it comes to quality ingredients worth splurging on, heirloom pork is certainly at the top of our list. Pork bought at the Supermarket more often than not comes from a handful of mega-producers who have a near monopoly on the industry and who put out an inferior, tasteless product. (Hence the predictable complaints of pork being dry and boring.) Luckily, many small farmers are starting to raise heirloom varieties of pigs like Red Wattle, Berkshire, and Mangalitsa. Plus, it's packed with amino acids and nutrients and can be quiet good for your health, especially when picking the leaner pieces. We suggest buying pork direct from a local source like a farm or market. If you can't find a local farmer selling pristine pig at a nearby farmers' market or butcher shop, then try ordering a few chops from Niman Ranch or Fresh Direct yourself some fresh meat for a special occasion. And while you're at it, pick up some locally sourced honey for the glaze! One bite will banish any misconstrued belief that pork is "the other white meat" and you just may find yourself swapping burger night for honey-glazed pork chops!
Nutrition: 300 calories, 19 g fat (9 g saturated), 340 mg sodium
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1⁄4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 thick-cut pork chops
Salt and black pepper to taste
How to Make It
- Cook the balsamic vinegar, butter, honey, rosemary, and pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture begins to bubble lightly. Remove from the heat.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan.
- Transfer about 2 tablespoons of the balsamic glaze to a small bowl and set aside. Season the pork chops all over with salt and pepper and brush with the remaining glaze.
- When the grill is medium-hot, add the pork and cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side, depending on thickness. (For perfect medium pork, a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chop will read 140°F.)
- Remove the chops and, with a clean brush, brush with the reserved glaze.
This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!