I just finished watching yesterday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy and am enjoying a warm cup of green tea. I honestly had not watched TV in over a week and had not missed it. Am finally starting to recover from bronchitis and this cough was very effective in getting me to write 4 recipes this week! Everyone tells me that I need to rest, but the cough made it impossible to sleep… Time to talk food.
Let’s make some oven-roasted pork chops with tamari, pure maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil & deliciously roasted carrots and brussels sprouts! They’ll cook themselves together in just under 20 minutes and you’ll have another steady, easy & quick dinner to rely on for your weekly rotation. If the thought of roasted brussels sprouts is enough to dissuade you from giving this a go, fear not. They taste freaking amazing when cooked properly. They’ll caramelize beautifully with the maple syrup and the tamari and you’ll also be singing their praises. I cooked this dish for Easter Sunday last week and my husband was in total food heaven. And he’s totally not a vegetable kind-of-guy, so that speaks volumes.
This is the easiest entree recipe ever, yet the one I had to test more than once. Why, you may ask? After all, pork chops are one of the simplest things to make on a whim. But you must remember; I learned how to cook from watching my mother work her old school kitchen magic. The warmest & fastest-speaking cook you’ll ever meet; the one who goes through ingredients almost instinctually and sprinkles them on unabashedly and without measuring. “A little bit of this- she says, and a little bit of that and you see, that was that and that was easy!” Oh, and if you blink- you miss a major step. True story.
The other things is, this is another one-pan meal recipe. Can we spot a current theme? Yes, am all about conveniently affordable one-pan meals these days. I thrive on efficiencies and anything that can save me some time; however little. If pork is not your thing; you could easily substitute with thinly sliced boneless chicken breasts. And if you’re not into eating meat; you HAVE to try the unbelievable taste that olive oil, pure maple syrup and tamari sauce give these veggies.
Why do I like tamari sauce? Tamari is naturally aged soy sauce that tastes even better and is gluten free! It’s darker in color and richer in flavor. And it has no wheat! Yes, everyone is surprised to hear there’s gluten in classic soy sauce. Did you know there’s also gluten in ketchup? You’d be shocked if I list all the pantry staples that have gluten in them. So if you haven’t tried Tamari yet, please do. You will love it.
Maple & Tamari Roasted Pork Chops
- 4 boneless organic pork chops, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp of tamari sauce
- 2-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 1 tsp of chili powder
- 1 tsp of sumac (optional)
- sea salt & pepper to taste
Optional: If you want softer, moister, & more flavorful chops: you can brine them the night before or even for 4 hours in this super simple brine: 4 tbsp of sea salt to 4 cups of water & 1 tbsp of white vinegar. Vinegar also helps soften the meat and give it great flavor. I either put them in a container with some sort of lid, or inside recycled ziplock bags. Maintain refrigerated at all times.
- Warm up the oven to 400 F
- Use 1 tbsp of olive oil to coat the bottom of a roasting pan
- Wash the carrots & brussels sprouts with water. Cut the brussels sprouts in half (vertically) over a cutting board & remove the ends. I also remove the top end of each carrot where the leaves stem from.
- Throw the veggies and pork chops into the roasting pan (do not throw the brine in there as well, in case you brined them). Sprinkle on the remaining olive oil and all of the seasoning ingredients. Using clean hands, give it a quick toss around to coat evenly. Cover with aluminum foil to preserve moisture as they go into the oven.
- Cooking time will be anywhere from 10, 15 to 20 mins depending on the thickness of each pork chop and your oven. Do not overbake, or the meat becomes tough and dry. I recommend always checking at the 10 min mark and using oven mitts!
*Some people like to pan sear the pork chops first in a cast iron skillet, and then put them into the oven to finish them off while still in the skillet. I find this method I detail here works just as well and saves that extra transferring step. Enjoy!