Pork Chops with Sweet & Sour Bacon & Tomato pan sauce

Recipe By : Cooks Illustrated Sep/Oct 1999 p.15
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:40

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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3/4 cup dark brown sugar -- lightly packed
1/2 cup kosher salt -- or 1/4 cup salt
10 medium garlic cloves -- crushed
4 each bay leaves -- crumbled
8 each cloves -- whole
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns -- crushed
4 each pork chops -- 1 1/2" thick
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 slices bacon -- 1/4" pieces
2 each shallots, large -- minced
1 pinch sugar
1 medium garlic clove -- minced
4 medium plum tomatoes
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dry Marsala or sweet Vermouth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- cold
1 tablespoon fresh parsley -- chopped

Peel, seed and cut the tomatos into 1/4" pieces. Cut the butter into 4 pieces

1. In gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag, dissolve sugar and salt in 2 cups hot water. Add garlic, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and 4 cups cold water; cool mixture to room temperature. Add pork chops then seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible; refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 hour, turning bag once. Remove chops from brine and dry thouroughly with paper towels.

2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place shallow roasting pan or jely-roll pan on oven rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven reaches 450 degrees, heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until simmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Place chops in skillet; cook until well-browned and nice crust has formed on surface, about 2 minutes. Turn chops over with tongs; cook until well-browned and a nice crust has formed on second side, about 2 minutes longer. Using tongs transfer chops to preheated pan in oven. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each chop registers 125-127 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes, turning chops over once halfway through cooking time. Transfer each chop to platter; cover loosley with foil (be sure not to wrap foil tightly around meat), and let rest for about 5 minutes. (Check internal temperature; it should register about 145 degrees).


Pour off fat from skillet used to brown chops; place over medium-high heat and saute bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer bacon with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate; pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Reduce heat to low; add shallots and sugar and cook until softened, about 1 minute (do not brown). Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high; stir in tomatoes and vinegar, scraping pan bottom with wooden spoon to loosed browned bits. Add Marsala or vermouth; simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Whisk in butter one piece at a time. Stir in parsley and bacon, season to taste with salt and pepper; serve with pork chops.