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Pork Chops Alsatian Style
Costolette di Maiale alla Francese
4 boneless pork chops, cut 13/4-2 inches thick
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons extra-light olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped sweet pickles
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple juice
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons softened butter mixed with 2 tablespoons flour into a soft paste (optional)
Preheat a gas barbecue grill to 450 to 500 degrees.
Make the Alsatian Sauce and keep it warm.
Mix the salt, pepper and dry spices together in a small bowl. Pat the chops dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the tops of the chops with half of the spice mixture and rub with the olive oil.
Place the chops, seasoned side down, onto the preheated grill and cook for 21/2 to 3 minutes without turning. Sprinkle the uncooked side of the steaks with the remaining spice mixture, turn the steaks and cook on the other side for 21/2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 more minutes on each side. Take the chops off the grill and let them rest, covered with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with the warm Alsatian Sauce.
Alternatively, you can cook these chops indoors.
In a saucepan, cook the butter, oil and garlic over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion, sweet pickles, red bell pepper and red pepper flakes and cook for 4 more minutes. Add the apple cider vinegar. Raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring well, until it reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Add the apple juice, chicken broth and parsley; bring to a boil, then simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. If you like the sauce thicker, bring it back to a boil and add the butter-flour paste, 1 teaspoon at a time, whisking well and waiting 1 minute before you add more of the paste. Continue this process until the sauce reaches the consistency you like. You do not have to use all of the butter-flour paste.
If you like a fancier look, strain the sauce through a fine mesh. Before you serve it, pour the sauce back into the saucepan and, over low heat, add 1 tablespoon of plain softened butter, stirring well until it is all melted. This will add some sheen to the sauce.
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