Garland Sugar Shack Pork Chops
As you read, I recently went to spend a day with the amazing Garland family at their Sugar Shack in Vars, Ontario. They are amazing people, making amazing maple syrup and there was no way I was leaving there without picking up some products to take home. I thought a fun thing to do would be to use some of the maple products, and incorporate them into a dish.
I used the maple butter and the maple syrup to put this dish together, using the butter in the puree and the syrup to baste the pork chop. I also made myself one of my Maple Old Fashioned's you can find in a previous post.
The first thing that came to mind when I thought of maple and dinner, was pork. I find blending herbs, pork and maple is always a touchdown, but the added bonus of apples just sends it over the top! I made a puree of apples, water, cinnamon, butter, and salt, and cooked it down until all the liquid had almost evaporated. I then mixed it in the blender with the addition of the Garland maple butter until the flavour came through, but wasn't overpowering.
For the pork chop, I cooked it in a cast iron pan, with oil and shallots, then added butter, fresh thyme, maple syrup and a splash of bourbon for the final basting of the chop. I plated with apple thyme mix, rainbow carrots, broccolini, and micro greens from Backyard Edibles.
Again, thank you to the Garland family for having me at their Sugar Shack and for the amazing maple products! Check them out at the various farmer's markets around the Ottawa area.
Here is my recipe for the apple maple puree....
3.5 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup water
2.5 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp cider vinegar
2.5 tbsp maple butter
1. Peel and core apples and slice thin, then cut into small cubes (about 1/2 inch).
2. Add apples, water, butter, salt and cinnamon to a medium saucepan and cook covered on high for 2-3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and remove lid. Cook until the liquid has just evaporated. Stir occasionally during cooking.
3. Add apples to blender and add cider vinegar and maple butter. Blend until smooth consistency.
4. Remove from blender and serve with pork chops or any other ideas you may have.