Sarah and I celebrated our six-month anniversary of marriage with a nice dinner and some wonderful home-brewed beer made by Sarah’s best friend Kara, which we aged for six months.
I was inspired by Ida Mae’s Bruncherie to do a fall pork chop dish. Theirs is applewood smoked but I do not have a smoker, so I had to improvise a bit. Earlier in the day we went to the Headhouse Market and bought two thick grass fed pork chops, some apples, heirloom tomatoes, some raw milk Parmesan cheese and some spinach.
I made a spice rub for the pork consisting of cinnamon, allspice, smoked peppercorns, nutmeg and salt. I dry rubbed the pork and let it sit for about a half hour.
I sliced two apples into one inch pieces fairly thinly. In a pot I sauteed some bacon until brown. I added the apples and the same spice mixture that I used on the pork minus the smoked peppercorns. After the apples began to get tender I added a half cup of chicken stock and reduced the heat to a simmer. You want to reduce the stock all the way.
In a heavy pan I seared the pork chops for a few minutes on each side. I added some apple cider, chicken stock and some sage, covered the pan and put in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
While the chops were browning I took a couple tomatoes and cored out the top. I scooped out the some of the meat of the tomato and fed it to the dog. (Our beagle, Charlie, is obsessed with fresh tomatoes. He eats them like they’re raw meat.) I cracked an egg into each tomato, topped it with the raw milk Parmesan and some olive oil and put it in the oven as well. Remove when the egg is cooked to the desired state.
Lastly, I took a few handfuls of fresh spinach and sauteed it in some olive oil, garlic and some nutmeg.
To serve, I put a few spoonfuls of the apples on the plate, covered the apples with spinach and then laid a pork chop over the rest of it. The stuffed tomato was served on the side.
This is totally gluten free and would be dairy free but for the butter. You could easily use olive oil all the way around and that would solve that.
Let me say that the beer was really amazing. The aging turned a very good beer into a top-notch brown ale with a subtle brown-sugar flavor.
We had this meal with candles, dim lights and each other.