Pork chops in a ginger-pomegranate sauce

This was a serendipitous recipe that came about when I was thinking about how to cook the lovely pork chops we had from the farmers market. Not your ordinary supermarket chops, which are from pigs bred to be low fat (gimme a break, next we’ll have low-fat butter and cream – or do we already have those?). No, these locally raised pigs are traditional breeds with wonderful flavor and texture – and, humanely raised, too. OK, I was thinking about a dry rub and grilling over charcoal, but it was looking to rain and I knew if I fired up the grill it was a sure thing that the torrents would descend. Then, while looking for something to drink I spied a mostly empty bottle of ginger ale in the fridge – and right next to it, a bottle of pomegranate molasses. Pork + fruit flavor + sweetness = GOOD! Aha, I had my plan.

Chops-1

Pomegranate molasses (if you are not familiar with it, you should be)  is a  concoction made from – well, you know – along with some sugar. Perhaps the consistency of maple syrup or a little thicker, it combines sweetness and tartness with pomegranate flavor. It seems to be a middle eastern specialty, at least I find it in middle eastern shops. In small quantities it has many uses – add to stews, soups, salad dressings, brush on roast meat, add to pie fillings, and so on. Keeps a long time in the fridge.

So, the recipe. I patted the chops dry and gave them a sprinkle of salt and pepper. After rubbing with some oil (I used grape seed oil, but any oil will do) I put them in a nonstick skillet that had been preheated over medium-high heat and let them cook for a few minutes until one side was nicely browned. After flipping, I let the second side brown for a couple of minutes then turned the heat down to medium low. I added 1/2c ginger ale mixed with 1 TB pom molasses (you can use old, flat ginger ale as long as it is not diet soda), covered, and simmered for about 6 minutes until cooked through. The sauce will have reduced to a few tablespoons by this time. Serve the chops with the sauce poured over, very good!

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