Pork Chops with Rhubarb Compote
It’s a joke in our house that my family hasn’t eaten a hot meal since I started this blog more than 10 years ago. Take these pork chops with rhubarb compote. The dish started out as just another family dinner, but then I decided to pull together a compote with the rhubarb I’d picked up at the market. I cooked down the bracingly tangy stalks with ginger and honey until they were tender, rosy-hued, and so good that I felt the recipe must be shared. Which requires photos. This set in motion the mad scramble of pulling out props, hauling them outside to catch the last of the daylight, while everyone waited on the sidelines with a look on their faces that said, “here we go again.”
A Tasty Way with Pork Chops
By the time I was done, the chops were closer to room temperature than “hot off the grill”. Regardless, nobody complained, both because they’re used to it and because all that juicy pork and rhubarb was enough to distract them from the fact that their mother interferes with them ever eating warm food.
Besides being tasty and fairly simple to assemble, this dish is nourishing. Boneless pork chops are on the leaner end of the spectrum and of course pack in plenty of protein. And that rhubarb, with its captivating flavor adds fiber, vitamin C, and calcium, along with cancer-fighting polyphenols.
A Word About Rhubarb
And while those fat red stalks may be somewhat mysterious to the uninitiated, rhubarb is no more complicated to cook with than a stalk of celery. One little side note is that the leaves of the plant are poisonous, something you need not be concerned about if you are buying it in a market. What you should worry about is the fact that rhubarb season is fleeting. So go get some and make this. It’s delicious with pork chops, but also terrific with pork loin or grilled chicken.
What to Serve on the Side
When it comes to side dishes to accompany pork chops, I’m partial to sautéed greens. This simple Kale with Lemon and Garlic is a perfect example and you can cook it while the pork chops rest. You could also follow the instructions for roasting potatoes featured in this recipe, which are crispy and delicious.
For other pork recipes, you might like:
Pork Chops with Ginger Rhubarb Compote
For the pork chops
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless pork chops that are about 6 ounces each
- 4 small fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional)
- Olive oil for grilling or cooking the chops
For the compote:
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 4 large stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/4-inch crosswise slices
- Juice of 1 large orange
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
Pull the pork chops out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking and season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high and saute the onion until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute or so. Turn the heat to low, add the rhubarb, orange juice, and ginger, and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb goes tender without completely losing its shape. Add the honey and a generous pinch of salt. Stir. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove from heat.
Prepare your grill so it's at a medium-high heat or set a heavy skillet over medium-high. Brush the grill/skillet with oil and lay down the chops. Cook to your desired doneness (I figure about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium).
Remove from heat and rest for at least 5 minutes.
Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and serve with rhubarb compote on the side.