Adding blueberries to savory meat dishes seems novel, even trendy, until we learn that Native Americans used a rub of crushed, dried blueberries on their meats as a means of preservation. Here, the goal of the continental cuisine is purely flavor, beautifully achieved in a reduced garlic-and-herb sauce served over seared pork chops.
Makes 4 servings
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 bone-in center-cut pork loin chops or frenchedpork rib chops, cut 1 inch thick
- ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Mashed potatoes
- Fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish
For marinade, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, agave nectar, rosemary, garlic, salt, sage and pepper. Reserve ¼ cup marinade for sauce. Place pork chops in a resealable plastic bag and pour remaining marinade over chops. Seal bag and place in a baking dish. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove pork chops from marinade; pat dry and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. For blueberry sauce, in a small saucepan combine reserved marinade, blueberries and water. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat and cook 4 minutes or until reduced by half. Remove from heat; stir in butter until melted. Set aside.
In an oven-going skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add pork chops and cook about 2 minutes or until browned. Turn chops. Spoon ½ tablespoon of the blueberry sauce over each chop. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes or until internal temperature of chops reaches 145°F. Serve chops with mashed potatoes and top with sauce. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.