Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Savory Sweet Potatoes and Leeks

I am a HUGE fan of swine, ergo, this recipe includes two different pork products: delicious thick-cut porterhouse pork chops and crispy pancetta. Adding more would kind of be pushing it, but don't let me stop you! Sweet potatoes are another fave, I feel like I gravitate toward them more in the fall, but when I realized I had two leeks just waiting to be used, this whole din came together as a summer pork chop and sweet potato extravaganza. This was inspired by a recipe that everyone seems to have- Smoked Gouda Sweet Potatoes. The Junior League of Houston's Peace Meals has a version that is delicious, but I wanted more savory flavor which I got by using leeks and pancetta. This is super easy and can be scaled up and down for guests or just dinner for two. Full recipe after the jump!

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Savory Sweet Potatoes and Leeks (Serves 2-4)
You will need:

  • 2 Porterhouse pork chops - bone in about 3/4" thick (appx 1.5 lbs total)
  • 4 T olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 T Angelo's Pork Seasoning - ***Gour-Maybe tip - go buy this asap. This stuff is AMAZING! Easy seasoning for a chop a pork shoulder, ribs, anything! 
  • 2 extra large sweet potatoes - appx 2 lbs - peeled and sliced into 1/4" slices
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 C smoked gouda cheese, grated
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped crosswise 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 1/5 inch slices pancetta (the pre-packaged rounds work perfectly)
  • 2 T olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large non-stick saute pan on medium-low heat, melt butter, 1/2 the cream, paprika, cayenne, sugar and salt. Add sweet potatoes and stir to coat. Cover and cook until extremely tender (approximately 30-40 minutes). Add 2 T olive oil to a medium saute pan on medium high heat. Add pancetta and cook until crispy 10-15 minutes. Transfer pancetta slices to a paper towel to drain. In the same pan, add the leeks. Reduce heat to medium and saute the leeks, stirring frequently until tender and caramelized, (approximately 15-17 minutes.). Chop pancetta into small dice. Add about 2 T to the leeks and stir. Remove from heat and set aside. When sweet potatoes are done, transfer to a large bowl. Stir/mash to create a mostly smooth mixture (I like a few pieces of sweet potato in mine), add cheese and remaining pancetta. Adjust seasoning to taste and set aside. in a large cast-iron skillet or heavy enamel stock pot, heat the 4 T olive oil until almost smoking. Sear pork chops about 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown. Transfer to the oven on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. Bake about 5-7 minutes, or until an internal thermometer registers 147 degrees. Let stand about three minutes wrapped in the foil. Plate with a large scoop of sweet potatoes, topped with a pork chop and a small mound of leeks. Enjoy!

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