Sear the rack in a heavy skillet to brown and seal the meat.
Be sure to sear and seal all surfaces of the meat.
Completely cover the rack with half the onion compote.
Pork Chop with Caramelized Maple Onions
The humble pork chop rises to great heights in this recipe created by one of my favorite young chefs from Spago, Karl Matz. The maple syrup gives the onion compote a wonderful flavor which infuses the pork chops as they cook. You’ll be surprised how delicious and exciting pork chops can be. Serve with Celery Root Purée and sautéed vegetables.
1 2-pound pork rack with 4 bones attached
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large yellow onions, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups apple cider
Season both sides of rack with salt and pepper 20 minutes before cooking.
In a large heavy skillet over high heat, heat olive oil. Sear pork rack on all sides until browned. Set aside.
In same skillet melt butter over medium heat, add sliced onions, ginger, cinnamon and star anise.
Cook slowly for about 10 minutes until onions are golden brown.
Add maple syrup, and cook for 2 minutes until onions are caramelized.
Deglaze with cider, adjust salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until liquid is reduced by half.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Transfer pork to shallow roasting pan, completely cover with onion mixture and place in oven. Cook for 20 minutes per pound or until internal temp is 160. After 20 minutes, add remaining onion mixture on top of pork rack. When cooked, remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
These chops are delicious served with Celery Root Purée. Place three heaped tablespoons of the celery root onto the center of each plate. Slice the pork chops and lay one on top of the purée. Arrange sautéed vegetables around the edge of the plate to complete the presentation.
A white burgundy like Puligny Montrachet has the fruit and depth to complement this dish. Or you might consider a good Californian Chardonnay from Kistler or Patz & Hall. Both these winemakers craft full wines with lots of fruit and body.