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Pork Chops 32
4 TB mustard powder
3 TB beer (see footnote)
Mix the mustard and beer together well to form a thin paste. Let
stand for at least 10 minutes for heat and flavor to develop. Due
to the carbonation in the beer, a head will form, so stir it
occasionally during this time. The longer the mustard paste stands
at room temperature, the milder it will become. After 10 minutes,
it will be strong and spicy (the way I like it), but it will mellow
significantly within an hour or two if you prefer it mild.
2 extra thick pork chops (about 3/4 lb each)
1 bottle beer (again, see footnote)
4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, sliced (if desired)
Lightly tenderize the pork chops, then use a sharp knife to make
shallow incisions along the length of the chops. This will allow
the mustard paste to sink into the meat better. Spread the paste
over your chops and let them marinate in the fridge for at least
an hour. Sprinkle them with white pepper first, if desired. Fry
the bacon over medium-high heat in the cast iron skillet, turning
until brown and crisp. Remove the bacon and set it aside. Let
the bacon grease heat until it spits like crazy when you drip water
on it. Preheat the oven to 350, then put the chops in the skillet
and sear them until a dark, rich brown on both sides. Add the
onions and saute until they are a nice, light brown. Pour in just
enough beer to cover the bottom of the skillet. It should spit
like hell and boil off immediately. Let things heat up again for
a minute or so, and then do it again, just for fun ;) Turn the
heat down to medium, and add enough beer to almost cover the chops.
Bring it to a boil and let it bubble for a couple minutes, then
cover it and place it in the oven. Let it cook for about half an
hour, turning every ten minutes or so. You probably only need to
bake it for 15 or 20 minutes, but I was raised to cook the hell
out of pork.
When you take the chops out of the oven, you can reduce the liquid
by about half, add flour or cornstarch to thicken, and then use it
for gravy if you're a gravy person (I'm not). And don't worry,
the gravy doesn't taste too mustardy, although it's certainly not
traditional-tasting. I usually garnish the chops with the onions
and bacon (crumbled) and serve them with mashed potatoes and buttered
green beans or succotash.
Variation - Chicken-fried pork chops or steak:
Make a double portion of the mustard paste detailed above. Smear
two well-tenderized chops or steaks with half the paste and marinate
for an hour or more. Coat thoroughly with the remaining mustard
paste before the first dredge in flour or cornstarch. I won't post
a chicken-fried steak recipe here, since I just use the ones from
the archives anyway. The mustard stays pasty on the inside, and
adds a pleasant little mouth-puckering bite to the dish.
Finally, about the beer: The beer is there to impart flavor, so
don't use Budweiser or any generic lager or pilsner, since they
have so little. Locally-brewed beers are generally fresher and
more flavorful than their mass-produced cousins, so try to stick
with them. I recommend a dark, robust bock or doppelbock, although
a stout or a dark red will work okay too. Stay away from anything
with honey in it, as the fermentation drastically alters the flavor
of the honey, and you will _not_ wind up with a pleasant honey-mustard
taste like you might think. Enjoy!
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