pork chops with creamy mustard bacon sauce and cheesy grits

pork chops with creamy mustard bacon sauce and cheesy grits

With my mom being from the midwest, we grew up eating a lot of pan fried pork chops. And lots of cheesy things and casseroles. My love of comfort food really got started at an early age. So this meal is kind of a homage to the meals I grew up eating, with slightly more elegant flair (sorry, mom!). Since pork chops are a leaner cut of meat, brining is essential for a juicy end product. Essentially a brine is a salt and sugar solution that through osmosis is absorbed into a cut of meat, flavoring it from the inside out and lending extra moisture so that while cooking it doesn’t dry out. Science, amiright? Anyway, these pork chops are extremely easy to get together and perfect for a weeknight meal.

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If you think you’ve had grits before, you’ve never had grits. Sorry folks. I’ve had a lot of grits in my lifetime and these are not the gloopy, stiff mess I’ve eaten in the past. They are so creamy, cheesy and rich. Probably because there’s 4 cheeses in ‘em plus a lot of butter and cream. I never said this was a health recipe. But I did say that it would be comforting and delicious and I know I will deliver on those points. The trick is to make the grits right before you serve them so that the cheese doesn’t seize up. But if you do want to make them a little early and reheat, just add some more milk before reheating over low heat so they stay nice and creamy. Happy cooking!

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Things I used in this recipe:

Yield: 4-6 servings

Pork chops with creamy mustard bacon sauce and cheesy grits

prep time: 15 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 55 mins

ingredients:

Black Tea Brine
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, at least 1 inch thick
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 black tea bags
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leafs
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Creamy Mustard and Bacon Sauce
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
Cheesy Grits
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup stone ground grits
  •  1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded fontina
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 stick butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

instructions:

  1. To make the brine, combine all the brine ingredients and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Place pork chops in a gallon ziplock and pour the brine over them. Seal the bag and place in a baking dish (just to prevent any leaks going all over the fridge) and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove pork chops from the brine and pat very dry on paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. 
  2. In a large skillet with a lid, add the bacon and turn heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crispy and has rendered fat into the pan. Remove bacon from the skillet using a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn heat to medium and place the pork chops in the pan. Sear until golden brown and then flip the chops and repeat. Remove from the pan. Reduce heat to medium low, add the butter, shallots, and garlic and stir often until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the dijon and whole grain mustards to the pan and stir. Add the chicken stock and return pork chops to the pan. Cover and cook to desired doneness. Remove pork chops from the pan and add heavy cream. Reduce until thick and season with salt, pepper and chopped parsley. 
  3. To make the grits, bring chicken broth and milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the grits and reduce heat to low, stirring until thick. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, until grits are tender. Once grits are tender, add butter, heavy cream, mascarpone, cheeses and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with pork chop and sauce. 
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