08 April, 2009

Pomegranate Glazed Pork Chops and More

The friendly people at Pom Wonderful sent me a case of their delicious 100% pure pomegranate juice this week, and my family and I have been having a blast with it. Of course it's a delicious beverage, but to make the best use of our bounty, I wanted to see what other ways we could come up with to enjoy it.

Last night, we had pomegranate-glazed pork chops. We started with six beautiful bone-in pork chops from the neighborhood butcher up the street, and made the glaze from POM pomegranate juice, fresh pineapple, and brown sugar. Fresh thyme and rosemary provided savory notes that complimented the sweet glaze.

Pomegranate Glazed Pork Chops
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 4 inches long)
a few sprigs fresh thyme
6 bone-in center cut pork chops, each about 3/4-inch thick
12 ounces POM 100% pure pomegranate juice
¼ cup finely minced fresh pineapple with its juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a skillet large enough to hold the chops; sweat the rosemary and thyme in the oil to flavor it, but don't allow the herbs to brown. Pull the herbs to the side of the skillet and add the chops. Brown the chops well on both sides, then remove the chops to a warm platter and pluck the herbs from the pan, discarding them. Pour off excess fat from the pan, but keep a tablespoon or so of the fat in the skillet.

Over medium heat, add the pomegranate juice to the pan and deglaze it quickly. Add the pineapple and brown sugar and stir well to blend, simmering all the while. In a few short moments, the sauce in the pan will begin to thicken a bit. Return the chops to the pan and, turning them frequently to cook and coat them evenly, cook gently for about 15 minutes, just until they're done. As the chops cook, the pomegranate sauce in the pan will thicken and glaze the chops. Serve the pork with a drizzle of sauce on the meat, and a small condiment bowl with more glaze on the side.

Side dishes are up to you; we had ours with fried eggplant sticks (one of my daughter's all-time favorite veggie sides.)

I've mentioned before that we like to make jams and jellies. POM pomegranate juice is an ideal ready-made base for preserves because it's 100% pure, with no added sugar or water. I made a small sample batch of jelly:

Pomegranate Jelly (Small Batch)
Makes about 1 cup

12 ounces POM pomegranate juice
1¼ cup sugar

Combine juice and sugar in a small pan and stir well to completely dissolve the sugar. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, then turn heat down to maintain a constant high simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 220 F on a candy thermometer (jelling point) then pour the jelly off into a small Mason jar, cap it, and allow it to cool and set. Store in the refrigerator.

So many fruit flavors are complimentary to pomegranates that I can't wait for early Spring produce to start coming in. I'm looking forward to putting up a batch of strawberry-pomegranate jam, and when the small sugarplums near my house are ready, I'll try combining them with pomegranate as well.

As a final note, I just want to add that pomegranate juice and vodka - on the rocks with a twist - is delicious.


POM Wonderful's website. Turn your speakers down, they have sound effects.



Stephanie/Sproffee said...

I'm a fan of a half and half cocktail of Pama and Pom.

It's sweet and not strong at all...but very very tasty.

Dave said...

Yes. Pama. That stuff is great, though I prefer it undiluted. (o_O)**

Stephanie/Sproffee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie/Sproffee said...

I think me "watering down" my Pama with Pom was just a college student's desperate attempt to get a semi-expensive bottle of liquer to last longer.