Weeknight Cooking

This 30-Minute Pork Chop Dinner Is *Peak* Spring on a Plate

A spiced rhubarb sauce brings everything together.

June  3, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food & Prop Stylist: Sarah Jampel.

If you’re not a dessert person, then chances are you’re missing out on rhubarb. Besides the occasional cocktail, rhubarb seems to have found its footing mainly in sweets.

But not so fast! With a little reimagination, rhubarb is perfect for dinner on a weeknight.

Since rhubarb is very sour, it requires sugar to make it edible, which probably explains why it’s most common in desserts. Yet its sharp, almost bitter, bite reminded me of another seasonal produce for a different time of year: tart apples. And what are apples perfect for?

Pork chops.

Pork chops and applesauce were a weekly occurrence on the supper table every fall when I was a kid. So I’ve reimagined this childhood favorite with a little spring flair. And the best part is, these honey and butter–glazed pork chops with herby peas only take 30 minutes to make—tops.

The rhubarb sauce takes the longest to cook, about 20 minutes, so start there. Roughly chop the rhubarb—and I mean roughly (it’s going to break down a lot as it cooks, so don’t be precious about this). Add the ‘barb to a saucepan with sugar and a cinnamon stick. While the rhubarb cooks down and thickens up, start cooking those chops.

I like to use a thinly cut chop, because it cooks quickly—but with the bone on, for flavor. You could use any cut you like, just be sure to adjust the cook time accordingly. I keep the chops simple with just a hefty sprinkle of salt and plenty of black pepper. And I’d suggest a cast-iron skillet here because not only does it brown the protein evenly, it’s also big enough to cook all four of them at the same time.

When the perfectly caramelized chops come out of the pan, they get shellacked with a lil' honey butter. The chops don’t take long to sear up, but they should rest for just as long as you cook them so they stay juicy and tender.

And, while that pan is still hot and sizzling with little brown bits of pork, add in a bag of frozen peas with some freshly chopped parsley, dill, and chives and stir them around to heat through. The side dish cooks almost instantly and you don't even need to dirty another pan.

Once the sliced chops hit the dinner plate, give them one more glaze with the honey butter and a sprinkle of flaky salt. Serve with a side of rhubarb sauce and a big helping of peas.

It’s a super flavorful rhubarb-forward dinner that may leaving you thinking, “Pie who?”

What's your favorite way to cook pork chops? Tell, tell in the comments!
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Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning Producer of the Rachael Ray Show, food writer and recipe developer. He's a contributor to Food52, NYT Cooking and Rachael Ray Every Day Magazine. He loves cookies, cocktails and kindness.

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