French Pork Chops with Blueberry Sauce

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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.