I love pork chops. They are usually pretty cheap, they are easy to cook and they are delicious. Being from the south, I grew up with pork chops, collard greens and black eyed peas. The greens would be stewed all day and would smell like…well, like sulphur (I just edited what I really wanted to say). I would pour vinegar on the greens and hot sauce or ketchup on the black eyed peas (still do on New Years).
On a trip to Whole Foods they had some beautiful dandelion greens and the pork chops were on sale so I snagged them. Instead of the blacked peas I decided on whipped potatoes and I thought a nice sauce to pour over the whole mess would be on point. I came up with Pan Roasted Pork Chops, Braised Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Whipped Potatoes with an Apple Jus.
The pork chops are super easy with just salt and pepper. I personally would rather the pork be a little pink in the middle then dry. The dandelion greens are the most bitter green you can get (or at least the most bitter I’ve had). I tried to balance out the bitterness with all the other ingredients plus the braising process really cuts some of that bitterness. On the potatoes, when I got home from the store I realized I had no heavy cream which I would normally use with the whipped potatoes, so I used milk and ricotta cheese.
This meal turned out well. It was pretty easy, quick and very filling. The pork chop and dandelion greens were perfect and the potatoes were…OK. I think ricotta wouldn’t be my choice again but they were OK and I am glad I tried it.
- 2 Large bone in pork chops
- 1 Large bunch of dandelion greens
- Olive oil
- 1/2 Onion (I used white, but whatever you like)
- 3 Garlic clove, 1 minced, 2 peeled
- 1/2 Teaspoon of crushed red pepper flake
- 1/2 Cup apple juice
- 1/2 Cup chicken stock
- 1-2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 Large Russet Potatoes
- 1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2-4 Tablespoons ricotta cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Set pork out and let it come to room temperature.
- Fill a large pot with water and drop in two whole peeled garlic cloves. Peel and cut potatoes into quarter inch cubes. Place in the water and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are fork tender and drain water. At this point you can either remove the garlic or leave it in, I like to leave it in. I have a ricer that I pass my potatoes through in order to get them smooth but you could use a food mill, immersion blender, food processor or a regular blender. I really like my ricer, it makes the potatoes very smooth. If you don’t have any of those items you could use a potato masher or a fork and whisk.
- Set heat to low and pour in milk, ricotta cheese and butter. Mix together, season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm. Before serving check to make sure the potatoes have not dried out. If need be, add more milk or stock.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pan with a tight fitting top over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and wait for it to ripple (I usually render out a couple strips of bacon and use that fat, but I was good here). Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add minced garlic and pepper flake and sauté for 30 seconds then add dandelion greens. Toss the greens until wilted and add 1/2 apple juice, 1/2 chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer until most of the liquid is gone, approximately 15-20 minutes. Add more liquid if need be. Turn greens occasionally. The last few minutes remove the top. Before serving, add a table spoon or two of apple cider vinegar.
- Season the pork with salt and pepper. Now you can if you prefer, you can cook at medium heat until it reaches appropriate doneness. I prefer to searer the meat on both sides and finish in the oven. For that my method, pre-heat oven to 400°. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and searer both sides of the meat . Once the pork has a good searer place in the oven until it reaches doneness. The Food & Drug Administration recommends pork is done at 160°. I usually cook mine to 145° because I am a rebel.
- When the pork is done, remove from the pan and let rest. Put the hot pan back on the burner over medium-high heat. Add the remaining apple juice and apple cider vinegar and de-glaze the pan, scrapping all the little bits of tastiness from the bottom. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I put extra pepper. Right before serving dump any juices that may have collected from the resting meat into the sauce.