Butchery has never been my strong suit. I was a baking and pastry major in college and managed to pick up cooking along the way. I think I’m pretty good at it. Meat, however, has just never been my thing. Navigating my way through half of a cow or pig to net out with individual cuts is a feat that has always left me baffled.
Earlier in the year, the USDA started a new press campaign to rename common cuts of beef and pork, which I’m super on board with. The overarching goal (which will really help us aspiring butchers) is to sync up the names of similarly shaped cuts from two different animals. I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for the craft of the butcher, but I cannot, for the life of me, keep all of the different cut names straight. Imagine my elation when this whole thing came full circle and porterhouse pork chops starting showing up in the meat case at my local market. I know exactly what I’m getting. I know exactly how to cook it. And I feel just a bit smarter because of it.
Here’s the problem with too much information, though: The more you know, the less material you have when flirt-chatting with Jeremy the blue-eyed butcher.
Porterhouse Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Grapes
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (1-inch-thick) pork porterhouse chops
Salt and ground black pepper
3 cups red seedless grapes
Zest and juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
1/3 cup toasted pistachios, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat with the olive oil. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, and sear them in the pan until deep golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the chops to a plate and remove the skillet from the heat.
Add the grapes, orange zest and juice, vinegar and garlic to the skillet, and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Place the chops on top of the grapes and place the whole pan in the oven. Roast the chops until they’re cooked to your liking, about 8 minutes for medium. Let the chops rest for 10 minutes.
Cut the two portions of meat off from each chop and thinly slice them. Serve the sliced meat with the roasted grapes and a garnish of pistachios.
Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he now works as a food stylist and producer in NYC by day and a food writer and recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Instagram at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website, patrickwdecker.com.