Monday, July 22, 2013

Pork Chops with Lavender Honey Dijon Mustard

Lavender. 

It doesn't connotate the manliest of visions. And truthfully neither does Dijon mustard, but take those things and add honey to them... well, now you're talking anti-manliness. That is okay however. Sometimes you need to add a gentler touch to pig parts to make them tasty, and that is exactly what we did with this recipe.

Now, just because the ingredients sound frilly, doesn't mean this dish lacks in flavor, in fact, it packs quite a frilly flavor-punch. The spicy dijon naturally goes with the honey, but I wanted to use some of the fresh and fragrant lavender growing in my sparse, not-taken-care-of garden. This herb also goes well with an obsession of mine; mustard.

Mustard is one of the simplest condiments, but the infinite variation of flavors that it can convey, along with tang, heat, sweet, texture, so on and so forth are amazing. If you don't believe me, head to a gourmet grocery store and check out the gourmet mustard section, look at all of the flavors, types, and marvel. Then look at the price tag. Some are just outrageously priced, for a simple mix of seeds or powder, vinegar, and seasoning or spice.


So, if you don't have time to grind your own seeds, or don't want to jump into making your own mustards just yet, a great way to mess with flavors you want is to take a nice Dijon, or a plain whole grain prepared mustard and add some flavors of your own to it, like we did in this here recipe. Without blathering on anymore about the femininity of lavender or heralding mustard as the savior of food, here is the recipe for the chops.
Don't let the flowers fool you. Those are some tasty meaty bits there.

Ingredients:
6 bone-in pork chops, about 6 oz each, brined for about 4 hours
1 t. granulated onion
1 t. granulated garlic
1 t. paprika
2 t. kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 T. fresh lavender, rough chopped
3/4 c. Dijon mustard
1 T. apple cider vinegar or honey vinegar
1/3 c. clover honey
1 t. minced sweet onion
1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. butter
1 T. brandy

Directions:

  1. Rinse and pat dry the pork chops. Mix the next 4 ingredients together, and thoroughly season the chops. Add black pepper as desired to them as well. 
  2. Mix the lavender, dijon, vinegar and honey together, and stir thoroughly. Heat a saute pan on medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Place half of the chops in the pan, and brown until lightly golden, and turn. 
  3. Brush the lightly browned side with some of the mustard, while the other side is searing. Turn once again when light brown, and brush with mustard again. What this does is allow the chops to cook without burning the honey, which happens very fast. 
  4. Once the first side with the mustard on it gets nice and toasty golden, and turn again, and turn the flame off. Let the chops sit for another minute, and remove from the pan. Set aside in a warm oven, or covered with aluminum foil to keep warm
  5. Repeat the steps with the remaining pork, and once finished cooking, put the pan back on a low flame, and add the butter, scrape the bottom of the pan, and add the brandy. Add any remaining mustard, and stir it all up together with the pan goodies. 
  6. Pour that tasty glaze over the chops and serve! Garnish with lavender flowers if available, and serve with a side that compliments, but not overpowers it. 

This light and flavorful dish will be perfect in the summer, and actually can transfer quite easily to your grill outside if you don't want to make your house hot. Serve with a nice cold wheat beer, relax on your porch, and enjoy this flavor packed porky goodness.