Pork Chops with Blueberry Butter. Juicy pork chops generously smeared with flavorful blueberry butter and topped with fresh peach salsa. These pork chops are easy enough for a weeknight meal, yet elegant enough for entertaining!
When I was preparing my last published recipe, for blueberry butter, I knew I wanted to incorporate it into a savory dish to publish here on NSN. I wanted to go the savory route because it seemed like the culinary road less people would travel on their own… without a little loving guidance from Mio.
Sure blueberry butter is delicious slathered on top of a piece of toasted brioche bread or a flaky croissant. And it is equally good as a dip for white chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven (try this!). But, I am operating on the assumption that most of you guys would naturally think of the sweet pairing for blueberry butter without my
I am also assuming (not sure it’s safe to ever assume, especially twice in a row! However, I have been called worse than the former part of that word…so why not?) that pairing fruit or something sweet with a savory is an idea that seems to frighten people. For a reason totally unbeknownst to me. Sweet and savory are like two peas and a pod… they mesh very well. Like peanut buttah and jelly, duck and cherries, chocolate chip cookies and bacon.
They want… nay, they desire and NEED, to be together. The sweet and savory combination make a wonderful marriage. Together they can take basic ingredients and transform them into something quite spectacular… a dish that almost provides transcendence.
With that said, enter these bone-in, thick cut Pork Rib Chops (I will get into why a rib chop is better than a center cut in a bit, so keep reading). Pork pairs with fruit very well. Pork and apples. Pork and pineapples. AND this… pork, blueberries and peaches! These chops are a pairing of flavors straight from the heavens above. Once you have paired the two together, it is hard to imagine them without each other.
I decided this dish was the perfect example of showing you a creative savory way to use up that blueberry butter. And since peaches are in season and yummy with blueberries, I figured why not whip together a quick peach salsa to join the pork chop party.
Now, let’s talk about the pork chops real quick before I send you off to the grocery store and into the kitchen. Bone-in pork chops are, in this girl’s opinion, the only way to go. Don’t go buying those pork cutlets or lord knows what other un-porkly cuts of pig you have been misguided into purchasing before. Bone-in= flavor and moisture… ‘nuff said.
You are probably wondering “well, why shouldn’t I buy center-cut? Isn’t that a better cut??” I suppose it depends on who you are asking. Sure, this can be debated until all parties are blue in the face or until I wear out your patience and you concede. But I will tell you this: because center-cut chops are made up of the tenderloin and the loin, it is VERY DIFFICULT to cook them evenly. You will inevitably end up over or undercooking one side. I don’t know about you, but I want my pork chop cooked evenly, and preferably to the medium temperature range.
Okay, I feel like that is enough of a pork chop lesson for the day. But if you have any questions, or want to debate anything I have stated in this post, feel free to leave me a comment. Go make friends with your butcher, pick up some chops, and give this recipe a try.
- 2 Bone-in Pork Chops , cut 1 ½’’ thick
- ½ tsp Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Cumin
- 2 TBS Kosher Salt
- 1 ½ tsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 - 4 TBS Blueberry Butter , to taste
- 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 TBS Butter
- Lemon Zest – for garnish, optional
- 1 White Peach – pitted & diced (about 1 ½ cups)
- ¼ Red Onion – diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 small Jalapeno – ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
- 1 Heaping TBS Chives - snipped
- 3 TBS Mint Leaves – roughly chopped (can substitute Basil or Cilantro)
- 1 Lime Zest and Juice
- 2 tsp Orange Juice
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1/4 Heaping tsp Sea Salt
- 1/8 tsp Pepper
- Using paper towels, pat both pork chops dry. Combine the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, sugar and pepper together in a small bowl. Season chops, liberally, on both sides with spice mixture.
- Place a wire rack insert in a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the pork chops to rack and place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 8 to 24 hours. Do not dry brine the chops any less than 8 hours, so you will need to plan ahead. (I dry brined my pork chops for 20 hours, and they were perfectly juicy)
- Make the Peach Salsa: Combine all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to marry for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
- Remove pork chops from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature, on the counter, for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 250 degree F. Remove rack insert from baking sheet and place chops directly on sheet pan. Cook in preheated oven, on the middle rack, until internal temperature of the pork chops reaches 110 degrees for mid-rare (about 25-35 minutes) or 120 degrees for medium (about 30-40 minutes). To prevent overcooking the pork chops, start to check the internal temperature 5-10 minutes prior to suggested cooking times. Remove baking sheet from the oven. (Mine took 32 minutes to reach 120 degrees)
- While the Pork chop is cooking in the oven, remove the blueberry butter and peach salsa from the refrigerator and set aside on the counter to remove chill.
- Place a large cast iron skillet (or stainless steel skillet) with oil over high heat. Allow oil to heat up until barely smoking.
- Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook, turning once, until they are starting to develop a brown crust, about 1 ½ minutes. Add the butter to the pan with the chops and swirl to coat.
- Continue cooking the pork chops until golden brown, about 2 more minutes, turning once and basting the top of chops with butter using a spoon.
- Using tongs to stand the chops on their sides, sear the fat caps until rendered and crisp, roughly 1 minute.
- Remove chops from skillet, transfer to a rack set on clean cutting board or work surface. Top each chop with 2 TBS room temperature blueberry butter and allow pork chops to rest for 3-5 minutes.
- Transfer blueberry butter topped pork chops to serving plates, top with peach salsa and garnish with lemon zest. Serve immediately.
Inactive Time: 8- 24 hours
-Cooking method for Pork Chops slightly adapted from Serious Eats
-I served my Pork Chops with sautéed asparagus tips. Simply place a cast iron skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 TBS of butter (or extra virgin olive oil) and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with a splash of lemon juice.