Pork chops and rhubarb sauce

At our last visit to the farmer’s market, we picked up some fresh rhubarb. We’re kind of rhubarb novices (as many people probably are), and don’t really know how to use it except in dessert, usually with strawberries. As it happens, I was reading through a recent Eating Well magazine, and they had a recipe for pork chops with a rhubarb sauce. It looked easy enough and didn’t require anything too fancy, so we went ahead and tried it.

Pork Chops with Rhubarb Sauce (from EatingWell)

1-2 springs of thyme, or a Tbsp of thyme leaves
Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
4 bone-in pork chops, 1/2-3/4 inch thick (about 2 pounds), trimmed
1/2 cup 100% pomegranate juice
1/2 cup beef broth
2 Tbsp honey
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb
1 tsp butter

Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine thyme, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub onto pork chops, coating evenly. To make rhubarb sauce, bring juice, broth, honey, shallots, salt and pepper to a simmer in a medium saucepan and cook until reduced by half, 8 to 12 minutes. Stir in rhubarb and return to a simmer; cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the rhubarb is beginning to break down, about 4 minutes. Stir in butter. Meanwhile, oil the grill rack. Grill the pork chops, turning once, until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with the rhubarb sauce.

This turned out pretty well. Our pork always seems to cook up nice and tender, and the rhubarb sauce was nicely tart, but not mouth-puckeringly so. We served it with some fresh salad to make a good springtime meal, and even better, it was ready in less than half an hour. Best of all, we found another use for rhubarb, and it inspired me to try this ingredient in more savory dishes. Especially since I planted some this year – if it takes off, we’ll have plenty of it in years to come.

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