Lean pork chops, an easy pan sauce, and a refreshing salad all make for a simple yet elegant dish to help you recharge after the holidays. Patting the pork as dry as you can will give you a better sear; turning the pork often as it cooks allows the meat to baste from the inside out, helping it cook more evenly. The pan sauce is sweetened naturally with a touch of maple syrup and slivered dried apricots; for a strictly paleo version, omit the butter.
Pork with Apple-Celery Salad and Grain-Mustard Pan Sauce
- Two 6-ounce boneless pork loin chops
- 1 Fuji apple
- 1 celery rib
- 2 to 3 red radishes
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon celery seeds
- 4 dried apricots
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon pure Vermont maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
Cook the pork
- Pat the pork dry with a paper towel; season generously with salt and pepper.
- In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the pork and cook, turning frequently, until browned but still faintly pink within, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate to rest; cover and keep warm, then thinly slice crosswise. Pour off any excess oil from the pan. While the pork cooks and rests, prepare the salad.
Make the apple-celery salad
- Cut the apple into quarters, cut away the core, then thinly slice the fruit.
- Trim the ends from the celery; cut the rib crosswise on the diagonal into ¼-inch-thick slices.
- Trim the ends from the radishes; thinly slice the radishes.
- Strip the parsley leaves from the stems.
- Juice half the lemon. In a medium bowl, combine the apple, celery, radishes, parsley, and celery seeds with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil. Toss to coat; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Prep the apricots; make the pan sauce
- Thinly slice the dried apricots.
- To the pan used for the pork, add the chicken stock, maple syrup, mustard, and apricots and bring to a boil, whisking or stirring to dissolve the syrup. Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a vigorous simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter, if desired, whisking until melted. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the pork to individual plates, drizzle with the pan sauce, and serve with the apple-celery salad alongside.
2016 Camille's Paleo Kitchen