As the weather cools, using the oven is actually a welcome activity. It also makes getting dinner on the table so much simpler if everything goes into the oven to cook at the same time, freeing the cook to sit idly at the table perusing a magazine and enjoying a cool beverage while the magic happens! Sound good to you? Me too! So this weekday night I kept it super simple but spared nothing in the taste and satisfaction department! Classic meat and potatoes with a little twist or two! I bought lean boneless chops at the market along with a bag of Idaho potatoes. Our local fare farm bag delivered sweet potatoes and fat juicy sweet onions to our door this week so I was all set to deliver a comforting, savory and easy dinner for the family.
To get started,we need a barbecue sauce. Don’t have any barbecue in the house? No problem, you can whip a good one up pronto with a little mustard, real maple syrup, red wine vinegar and some seasonings. For this one I used this nifty little jar of Pineapple Mustard I found at our local Trader Joe’s that is perfect for anything pork, chicken, and salmon too! It is milder than say a Dijon mustard and it has the lovely sweetness of pineapple, it even has some small chunks! If you do not have access to a Trader Joe’s, any pineapple mustard should work.
It doesn’t take much, for four small chops I used three tablespoons of pineapple mustard, sweeten the pot with two tablespoons of REAL maple syrup, balance it with some vinegar – I prefer red wine vinegar for my sauces because it is sweeter which I think helps balance the boldness of the mustard in the sauce. In this case, I used a garlic wine vinegar for some added bite. To season it, I used a Moroccan salt blend (which is nothing more than sea salt, dried oregano and coriander seeds) and of course some fresh cracked black pepper. Once this is all whisked together I can focus on the meat!
Line a baking dish with some foil, shiny side up. This helps reflect the heat towards the meat and makes clean up a cinch! Rinse the chops and place them in the pan. I always rinse my protein after I remove it from the market packaging. You can skip that step if you wish, this is just something I feel the need to do. Season both sides of the chops with fresh cracked black pepper. Now use a basting brush to slather on that sauce! Use about half of it on one side, flip your chops and pour the remaining sauce over the other side. Use your brush to spread it and leave nothing uncovered. Just set that on the stove while you prep your potato side dish. The truly beautiful thing about this pairing is that both dishes go into and come out of the oven together.
I love mixing sweet potatoes with white potatoes and treating them as a savory as opposed to the usual approach of sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I love sweet potatoes with cinnamon butter and maybe a dash of brown sugar, but they really do sing with some garlic and a splash of pepper too. This potato dish has a rustic quality that is at once hearty and comforting. Plus, any leftovers make GREAT hash browns in the morning! Again, in theme with dinner – the preparation is quite simple, just wash and peel your potatoes. Slice them thin and toss them in a large bowl. Also slice your onion thin and give your onion slices a couple of additional chops, I call this rough chopping. Toss them with the potatoes and start drizzling olive oil on the batch. Season generously with salt, pepper, roast garlic powder (if you do not have any of this, use regular garlic powder – the roasted has a deeper, sweeter flavor – just like roast garlic), a dash of dried oregano and some coriander seeds. This seasoning choice matches the seasonings used in the Maui Waui barbecue sauce we just made so they will pair together nicely.
Spread the potato mixture into a greased baking dish, I used one of my lasagna pans. All that is left to do now is pop both pans, the potatoes and the chops side by side into the preheated oven and set a timer for forty minutes. Now grab a beverage and that magazine we mentioned and relax while dinner cooks. At the end of forty minutes, pull both dishes from the oven and let them rest a few minutes. Be sure to spoon some of the sauce over each chop as you serve them. These chops come out fork tender. Now prepare yourself for your families accolades, go ahead, you deserve it!
- 4 Boneless Chops
- 3 T Pineapple Mustard
- 2 T Real Maple Syrup
- 1 T Garlic Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
- ¼ tsp Oregano
- ¼ tsp Coriander Seeds
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375º.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, syrup, vinegar and seasonings.
- Line a baking dish with foil and lay chops side by side, pepper both sides of the chops
- Use a basting brush to coat one side with about half the sauce, flip the chops and pour the remaining sauce over the top and use the brush to make sure all are covered.
- Set aside while you prepare the potatoes.
- 3 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
- 3 Idaho Potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 large Sweet Onion, sliced and chopped
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Roast Garlic Powder
- Coriander Seeds
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Wash and peel the potatoes and slice thin.
- Slice and then rough chop the sweet onion and toss with the potatoes in a large bow.
- Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and coriander seeds
- Toss the mixture to coat all veggies thoroughly.
- Spread some olive oil in the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish and spread the potato mixture in the dish.
- Bake side by side with pork chops in a 375º oven for 40 minutes. (I live near the beach, so adjust cooking time for your altitude)
- Serve immediately! (Serves 4)