Pre-Valentine's Midwinter Supper, Starring, Ahem, 'Honey' Wine

 I usually try to post a recipe that’s tied to a holiday or a seasonal ingredient but, frankly, since we’re between Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day, I’m just going to suggest a simple midwinter pork chop dish that I think you’ll enjoy. The pork is flavored with the ancient honey wine known as mead (Bunratty Meade is the brand name) and pineapples. It was originally published in my cookbook titled Cooking with Irish Spirits and is available now in Kindle format from amazon.com under the title The Irish Spirit.

Pineapple-Meade Pork Chops

Serves 6

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 (3/4-inch-thick) center-cut pork chops

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

6 pineapple slices

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup honey 

1/4 cup Bunratty Meade

Mashed potatoes for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a baking dish large enough to hold pork chops in single layer.

2. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Coat chops with mixture; shake off excess. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook chops for 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer to prepared dish.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard and brown sugar.  Spread over each chop and top with a pineapple slice. In another small bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, honey, and mead; spoon it over chops.

4. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of a chop registers 145ºF.

5. To serve, place a chop in center of each of 6 plates and spoon sauce over top. Serve with mashed potatoes.

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