Winter is dragging its feet and while the weather Gods decree another few weeks (at least) of cold weather my palette is fantasizing about barbecue. Memories of food cooked on the BBQ, infused with outdoorsy, smoky goodness have me pining for dirt under my fingernails, green things growing in the garden and the cheerful melodies of summer fowl. Today I offer you a barbecue inspired meal that’ll transform the end of winter blahs into jubilant spring fever. If we eat like it’s summer, then it stands to reason that summer can’t be that far away…right?
This is a two-part recipe. The second recipe is for a homemade barbecue sauce. You don’t have to make your own sauce, if you’re short on time you can just buy a ready-made bottle, but you’ll find it well worth your while to take the extra ten minutes and make your own. It’s a sauce you can bottle and keep in the fridge for weeks. Try whipping some up in June for when Barbecue season begins in earnest.
Late Winter Pork Chops
Serves 4. Preheat oven to 375F
4 pork chops, fat trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 onions, cut into thin rounds
2 c. BBQ sauce or a batch of homemade sauce (see below)
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
In a frying pan over medium- high heat, brown seasoned pork chops in 2 batches in olive oil. Five minutes each side should do it. Remove from heat and turn the burner to medium low. Pour another two tablespoons of oil into the pan and sauté onions until browned, stirring occasionally. About ten minutes.
Once onions are browned, pour in 1 c. water and stir up all of the delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Place pork chops into a oven-proof dish. Pour onions, water, potatoes, BBQ sauce into the pot. Cover and bake for one hour.
Homemade BBQ sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
In a sauce pan over medium heat sauté garlic until lightly browned. Pour in the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer for ten minutes.