Maple pork chops and collard greens

The days are certainly dark, and getting colder. It’s felt much more like winter the past few days – cold, breezy, and gray. When you really think about it, almost half the year is cold, breezy, and gray. Depressing. That’s probably why we just try not to think about it.

To warm things up, for the Dark Days meal this week, we’re doing a couple of the pork chops we bought from New Creation Farm, and using some of the maple syrup I made earlier this spring. Many recipes make a maple glaze, but they also all use cider vinegar and some other liquids, none of which I have locally. So I made more of a maple gravy. A little different feel in your mouth, but the flavor is still good.

Maple Pork Chops

2 bone-in pork chops
1-2 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp flour
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp maple syrup
salt & pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Brown the pork chops for a couple minutes per side (I did them one at a time; they both wouldn’t fit into the saucepan), then move to an oven-safe container. Bake pork chops at 350 F for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, add garlic to the butter in the saucepan and cook until just golden. Add the flour and whisk. Still whisking, slowly add the water to desired thickness (I didn’t measure; I probably used a little more than 1/3 cup). Finally, pour in the maple syrup, salt, and pepper, and stir until smooth. My syrup is very dark and almost a little smoky, so if you use a lighter grade, you may want to add more.

Remove the pork chops, and pour gravy over the top of each, making sure to reserve about half. Put the pork chops back into the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 350 F. Top with the rest of the gravy before serving.

Collard Greens with Bacon

1 bunch collard greens, cut into rough 2″ x 2″ chunks
3 strips bacon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt & pepper to taste

In a skillet, cook the bacon until crispy-soft (does that make sense? Just cook the bacon how you like it). Remove the bacon. Add the garlic and greens to the drippings and saute for several minutes. Chop the bacon into small pieces and add back to the skillet, with salt and pepper. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet (I don’t have any homemade stock, so I just used water here), reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until greens are nice and tender. Serve with the pork chops. The maple flavor goes nicely with the greens too, so don’t be afraid of any overflow!

I wish I had natural lighting for my pictures.

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One thought on “Maple pork chops and collard greens

  1. Looks good, though I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of pork chops for some reason. I did just purchase half a hog, so I’ve some great roast to cook up for the Challenge. I was just thinking a maple cider glaze would be nice!

    Glad you’re joining in the challenge – looking forward to all the tasty stuff you’ll be cooking up!

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