Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 3 - Root Beer-Glazed Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions

This was an Emeril Lagasse recipe out of the Food Network Favorites cookbook.  I have to say, while I enjoyed the flavor and look of the dish, I did not enjoy the amount of effort and time spent in the kitchen.  I just picked the wrong day to have to hang out in the kitchen for an hour and a half or two.  Caramelizing onions is not something you can leave on the stove and walk away from for too long, and neither was the sauce reduction. 

That being said, the meal was tasty.  I served it with mashed sweet potatoes with a bit of butter and a bit more brown sugar on top, which was a perfect pairing. 

For the onions, Emeril recommeds 2 pounds of yellow onions, peeled and sliced.  Melt 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large skillet.  Add the onions and cook slowly over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, 45 minutes to one hour.  Remove from the heat and keep warm.

For the glaze, combine 2 cups of root beer, and 2 cups of reduced veal stock.  Since I never cook veal, I had no veal stock, so I used pre-made beef cooking stock.Bring to a boil, then rduce heat to medium low and simmer until reduced to a thick syrup, about 1 cup, 45 minutes to an hour. 

Now, mine never reached a syrup stage and took it's good old time reducing.  I'm not sure if the stock I used caused that or not.  I ended up adding it to the frying pan when the chops were cooking a little at a time, in an effort to reduce it that way.  That worked to a point.

Prepare the chops while all that other stuff is going on.  Season each chop with a good sprinkle of Emeril's Essence.  I seared each side for a couple of minutes, then turned the pan on low to simmer.  Emeril's recipe called for then putting them in a 425 degree oven for a bit, but it had already taken too long to get to that point, so just left them on the stove to finish.  Once the chops were done, I plated some sweet pottoes, placed a chop on the side, then mounded the onions on the chop.  Drizzle a healthy amount of the sauce and there you have it.

All in all, good flavor, but I would definitely work on shortening the preparation time.  Us working folks don't have time on weekdays for this.  Plus, it takes forever to clean up after I cook like this - I confess I am a messy cook, and usually dirty way more utensils, etc. than necessary.

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