I talk a lot about seasonal eating on this blog. It’s a belief that I hold dear because it simply makes sense – it’s logical. If you throw something up it’s going to come down and if you eat a peach in December you’re going to break a tooth. I like my teeth and I would like to hang on to them. So, once again for the hundredth time: it’s summer and it’s ridiculously hot. Thankfully, we had plenty of rain this spring to bring a massive plum harvest at the ranch this year and I was the lucky recipient of an entire bucket (bigger than my 70 pound dog) full.
The plums from the ranch are not as big as ones you’d see in the markets. They are small and burst in your mouth with a intensity as sweet as a bomb and you can’t help but laugh when juice spills down your chin. This year we ate them plain and simple until we could no longer. Then we made a plum shrub for sodas and cocktails, a tart, and this plum and bayleaf compote.
It’s a balanced sweet, tart, and herbal, combination that is so very simple to make and goes great with cheese or meats like tenderloin or seared pork chops.
Sweet and tart plum compote brings perfectly seared bold pork chops to a whole new level of deliciousness in this recipe for Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Plum Bayleaf Compote. Plums are in season from June to October and I hope you get your hands on some!
Tuscan reds (especially Sangiovese) or French or Spanish Grenache based wines.
Sweet and tart plum compote brings perfectly seared bold pork chops to a whole new level of deliciousness in this recipe for Pork Chops with Plum Bayleaf Compote.
FOR THE COMPOTE
- 2 1/2 cups chopped plums
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 bay leaves
- Pinch sea salt
- Pinch fresh ground black pepper
FOR THE CHOPS
- adapted from bon appétit
pork chop brine
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise, plus 2 unpeeled cloves for basting
- 2 large sprigs thyme
- 2 1-inch-thick bone-in pork chops
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Flaky or coarse sea salt
- Pork Chop Brine (Optional but recommended): Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add kosher salt, sugar, orange, peppercorns, halved head of garlic, and 1 thyme sprig; stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 5 cups ice cubes. Stir until brine is cool. Add pork chops; cover and chill for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.
- Plum Compote In a saucepan, bring the ingredients for the compote to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. You want the flavors to combine but the plums to stay intact. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Discard bayleaves.
- Remove chops from brine; allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and pat dry. Heat oil over high heat in a large cast-iron skillet. Cook chops until beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook until second side is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip chops over again. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter and remaining garlic and thyme. With a spoon, baste the chops with the butter. Flip the chops once more and cook another 2 minutes while basting. Insert a meat thermometer. If the chops register 135°F remove from the pan and place on a cutting board. Allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes. If the chops do not register 135°F, keep cooking at 2 minute intervals, basting continuously, until they do.
- Serve pork chops with a spoonful of plum compote.
Store remaining Plum Bayleaf Compote in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.