Pan Seared Chops with Roasted Garlic Asparagus, Mash & East Texas Tomato Gravy


This dinner menu evolved from my spouse volunteering to cook a Master Chef inspired one-pan dinner to leaving her supply run with a several skillet menu and me cooking. Ha!

Pan Seared Chop Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops, 1/4 to 1/2″ thick

2 tabs of butter

3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

4-6 fresh sage leaves

2 cloves garlic, skins removed and left whole

generous amount of salt and pepper

Method

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high flame until the pan is very hot.

Meanwhile, generously salt and pepper both sides of the chops and gently pat the seasoning into the meat.

Once the skillet is hot, sear the chops on one side until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes. Flip the chop, sear an additional 1 minute then add in the butter, garlic, and herbs. Baste the chops continuously by leaning the pan forward a bit and spooning the melted butter over the chops. Flip the chops as needed. Continue to baste until the chops reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Set aside to rest about 5-10 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides.

Roasted Garlic Asparagus Ingredients

1 bunch fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed

6 cloves garlic, skins left on

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

juice from 1/2 a lemon

1-2 tbsp EVOO

generous amount of salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a baking dish with a little EVOO. Add to it the asparagus and garlic cloves. Toss the asparagus with enough EVOO to evenly coat each spear then add in the remaining ingredients and continue tossing until the asparagus and garlic cloves are well coated in the oil and seasonings.

Roast in the oven 15-20 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender, garlic skins are golden, and the spear tips are lightly crisp. Remove the garlic skins, careful not to burn yourself, and discard the skins. Gently mash one or all of the garlic cloves and toss to coat the asparagus. Finish with an extra squeeze of fresh lemon and flake salt, if desired. Serve immediately.

Mash & East Texas Tomato Gravy Ingredients

4-6 medium red potatoes, washed and skins left on

6 medium vine ripened tomatoes, chopped

3 pieces smoked bacon

1 tsp AP flour

1/4 tsp garlic powder

4-6 cups salted water or stock

generous amount of salt and pepper

Method

Add the potatoes to a medium sized soup pot and cover the potatoes with the salted water or stock. There should be about 1 inch of liquid above each potato. Bring up to a boil over medium high flame. Reduce to simmer and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the bacon to a skillet. Bring the skillet up to medium high heat and cook the bacon until crispy on all sides. Turn off flame. Remove bacon, drain on paper towels, and once cool enough to touch, store in the fridge for another use.

Remove all but 1 tsp of the rendered bacon fat and store for another use. Turn the flame to medium low and add in the tsp of AP flour. Whisk until the flour and rendered bacon are fully incorporated and continue to cook until the flour is a golden, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Reduce flame to low and simmer until the tomatoes are very soft. Once soft, gently mash the tomatoes with a fork or masher. Continue to simmer until thickened into a gravy, about 10-15 minutes.

While the gravy simmers, finish the mash by draining the water once the potatoes are fork tender. Mash the potatoes with butter, a splash of milk, and plenty of salt and pepper removing and discarding any large pieces of potato skin as desired. Taste and continue to adjust seasoning as needed.

Finish the gravy by tasting and adjusting seasonings. Serve immediately with the mashed potatoes.

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