Sherried Pork Chops & Pears
Cinnamon, brown sugar and sherry lend warmth and sweet appeal to this cold-weather casserole of juicy winter pears and pork chops.
6 to 8 center-cut pork chops (each about 3/4-inch thick)
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 or 4 firm-ripe Anjou pears
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch blended with 1/2 teaspoon cold water
- Trim fat from pork chops. Place a little of the fat in a wide frying pan; cook over medium heat, stirring, until pan is lightly greased. Add chops to pan, a few at a time (do not crowd pan); cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides. Season chops to taste with salt and pepper; arrange on one side of a shallow baking pan.
- Cut pears into halves lengthwise; remove cores and stems. Place pear halves, cut side up, beside chops; sprinkle meat and fruit with lemon juice. Mix sugar and cinnamon and distribute over meat and fruit; then pour sherry over all. Put a dot of butter in hollow of each pear half.
- Cover and bake in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until meat is no longer pink in center, about 20 more minutes; cut to test.
- Spoon or siphon out pan juices and transfer to a small pan. Blend in cornstarch mixture;; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Transfer sauce to a small serving dish.
- Arrange chops and pear halves on a platter; offer sauce to spoon over individual servings.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.