Double-Thick Pork Chops with Basque Peppers and Crushed Fingerling Potatoes
Courtesy of Adam Halberg, Culinary Director for the Barcelona Restuarant Group.
2 tablespoons harissa
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons cumin, ground
1 tablespoon coriander, ground
1 ground aniseeds
Pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil spray, to prepare grill
4 double-cut bone-in pork loin chops, each about 1¾–2 inches thick
1 pound fingerling potatoes
Kosher salt, to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded, cored and julienned
2 green bell peppers, seeded, cored and julienned
1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
2 cups veal stock (or beef or chicken stock)
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the harissa, parsley, cumin, coriander, aniseeds and pepper. Stir until a paste is formed. Next, brush the paste over both sides of the pork chops. Wrap the chops in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours (up to 2 days).
Lightly spray the grates of a gas or charcoal grill with vegetable oil spray or Pam. Turn on high, and when hot, grill the pork chops for 8–10 minutes on each side. Transfer the grilled pork chops to a shallow baking pan and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the thickest part registers 145°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pot filled with water and a pinch of salt. Boil potatoes for 8–12 minutes or until tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot and cook over low heat for 2–3 minutes to dry out. With a potato masher or a fork, mash the potatoes with the extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, cook the garlic for 3–4 minutes, stirring until softened but not colored. Add the bell peppers and onion, season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 8 minutes, or until softened.
Next, add the veal stock, raise the heat to high, and cook for 7 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half and the vegetables are soft. Scoop about a quarter of the potatoes into the center of each of 4 serving plates. Place a pork chop on top of the potatoes and garnish with the peppers and onions. Serves 4.
Wines from Chile are easy to pair with a large variety of foods—fitting since Chile is famous for its diverse agricultural products. One of my favorite pairings is Chilean Pinot Noir with grilled pork chops and peppers. Pinot Noirs from Chile tend to have high acidity (particularly if they hail from the Casablanca Valley), are balanced with very ripe fruit flavors and great viscosity. While pork can be delicate in flavor, which is ideal for the subtleties of Pinot Noir, the smokiness from the grill and sweetness of the peppers really highlight some of the bolder flavors that exist in Chilean Pinots.