What’s for dinner: Cranberry Pork Chops

Pork chops were on sale last week, so I bought a family-size pack and decided I’d figure out a way to make them interesting. Pork chops are my least favorite way to eat pig (that wonderful, magical, bacon-based animal), likely because the pork chops of my childhood were fried up in a pan and plopped on a plate beside some instant mashed potatoes without much fanfare or dress-up. And they’re boring like that. why do you think I added enough ketchup to my mashed potatoes to make them pink?

No real recipe, because I pretty much winged it, but if you were making this you’d need:

Some pork chops (mine were boneless, thin)
Fresh cranberries (roughly chopped, it’s fine if they’re mostly left whole because cranberries are hard to chop)
Orange marmalade
Ground cloves

I seasoned some chops with salt and pepper and then browned them in a pan with a little butter. Then I moved them to a glass baking dish. I mixed up the cranberries and marmalade in a bowl – I didn’t measure anything, I just put as much as I thought I’d need to put a blob of mixture on each chop. It was more cranberry than marmalade, though. The marmalade was mostly to hold the cranberries together. I mixed in a pinch of cloves – not too much because I didn’t want that to be the overwhelming flavor.

After spooning a blob of this mixture onto each chop, I baked them in the oven at 325 for about 15-20 minutes (check the temp with a thermometer to know if they’re done).

They turned out delicious! The cloves really enhanced the tartness of the cranberry and marmalade. I loved that it wasn’t sweet. If the chops were the thick kind, this might have been a good mix to stuff them with after butterflying them. As it was, this was more of a relish on top of the chops, which was nice but maybe it would have been nice as a more liquidy sauce – not sure what I’d have to tweak to make a sauce out of it, though. Possibly heating the mixture in a saucepan with some cranberry or orange juice to thin it out a little… maybe I’ll try that next time!

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