Pan seared pork chops with roasted carrots au ju

Pork chops are one of those things I could have pregnancy cravings for without even being pregnant. Wake up in the middle of the night: *need pork chops with apple sauce*; suddenly starving in the grocery store: *need shake 'n bake pork chops*. It's one of the more elusive proteins that sometimes gets a bad rap for being dry or boring, but to be honest I'd take boring or dry pork over boring or dry chicken any day of the week. But guess what - that's not a choice we even have to make! Marinated and pan seared pork chops are so flavorful; the slight charring on the edges and by the bone provides extra sweet flavor, and the meat is so tender in the middle. These chops, along with the jus that magically came from roasting carrots in the oven with molasses, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, created such an incredible flavor combination; we ended up dipping every bite in the jus we collected from the carrots. Alongside some mashed potatoes, I can't think of a better way to spend a lazy Sunday. 

Pan seared pork chops with roasted carrots au ju

Yields 2 servings
2 bone-in pork chops
5 T olive oil
1 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
5 sage leaves, finely chopped
5 thyme sprigs, leaves only, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp sea salt, plus a little more to sprinkle on while cooking
¼ tsp black pepper
3 T canola oil

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. Whisk until emulsified. Place pork chops in a large Ziploc bag or small baking dish. Pour marinade over the top and swish around to coat. Marinate in the fridge for about 6 hours, and let come to room temperature for at least a half hour before ready to cook.

Heat a Dutch oven with 3 T canola oil over medium high heat. When the Dutch oven is hot, add the pork chops, making sure they’re laying flat and not overlapping at all. Don’t touch for a few minutes to get a good sear. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt. Then flip over and repeat with the other side, sprinkling with a touch more salt (pork loves/needs it!). Then flip again, and finish by cooking the chops a couple more minutes on each side (it will depend how thick your chops are--ours were about an inch thick), until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Pull from heat and let them rest on a plate for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with sauce created from the roasted carrots (pour from dish into a small bowl, or pour directly over pork chops).

Sweet and savory roasted carrots

Yields about 4 servings
1 bundle organic carrots, skin on but scrubbed clean
2 thick rounds of an onion, sliced in half to create half moons
3 cloves garlic, whole
5-6 sprigs thyme
2-3 sprigs sage, leaves only
4 T olive oil
3 T molasses
2 T balsamic vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1½ tsp sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange carrots and onions in a baking dish, sprinkled with garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, and sage leaves. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, molasses, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. Whisk until emulsified, and pour over vegetables. Use your hands or tongs to toss until everything is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Cover dish with foil. Cook for 10 minutes with the foil on, then remove the foil and cook for another 25-30 minutes, depending on how soft you like the carrots to be. Remove from oven and plate the carrots. Pour the leftover juice from the pan into a small bowl as a jus for the pork chops.