Make the most of cherries’ short season with this savory recipe, in which the bright fruits bring out the natural sweetness of pork. Throughout the rest of the year, you can substitute dried cherries for a more concentrated flavor.
Braised Pork Chops with Cherries
4 bone-in, center-cut pork loin chops, each 1 inch (2.5 cm.) thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and pale green parts, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) chicken broth
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) Port wine
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) dried cherries or 1 cup (4 oz./120 g.) fresh pitted cherries, halved
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the rosemary, patting the seasonings firmly to adhere to the meat. In a saute pan with a lid, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
In the same pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until softened and beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the broth, stir to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine, vinegar and cherries.
Return the pork chops and any juices to the pan and spoon the liquid over them. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the pork is tender and barely pink in the center, about 15 minutes. Divide the chops among the plates, spoon the cherry mixture over the top, and serve. Serves 4.