I was craving for some Pork Chops but I was having a tough time trying to think how should I cook it. All of a sudden, I remembered the bottle of Balsamic Vinegar tucked in my pantry waiting for me to incorporate in one of my dishes! Perfect…Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops. I’ve never made it before, but I think I’ve heard of such dish. And it sounded yummy!
Quick introduction to Balsamic Vinegar for those of you who’s unfamiliar with it. Balsamic Vinegar is an aged reduction of white sweet grapes that are boiled to a syrup and is made in Modena, Italy. This is not made from wine as the pressing from the white sweet grapes were never allowed to ferment into wine. There are lots of grades to Balsamic Vinegars. The ones we usually get at the store cost about $4 are the commercial grade ones which are mostly used in vinaigrettes are not true Balsamic Vinegar. These commercial Balsamic Vinegar have Red Wine Vinegar added to them and true Balsamic Vinegar does not. Hence the price is cheaper, had more acidity and is not as syrupy. True Balsamic Vinegar can cost about $50 to hundreds of dollars for a small bottle and must be aged for at least 12 years.
Since I was experimenting with Balsamic Vinegar, I needed something sweet to tone down the acidity of the vinegar. In most recipes I’ve seen, brown sugar and apricot preserves are added to the sauce as a sweetener. I decided to use the next best alternative by using Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar) as a substitute to the brown sugar. I used Malaysian Gula Melaka which has a darker brown color. It worked out like a charm! Don’t worry if you do not have any Gula Melaka in your pantry, regular brown sugar is just fine! =)
BALSAMIC GLAZED PORK CHOPS RECIPE
- 4 Pork Chops, 1/2” Thick
- 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, Thinly Sliced
- 4 Oz Mushrooms, Quartered
- 1/2 Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 Tbsp Apricot Preserve
- 2 Oz Gula Melaka or Brown Sugar
- Black Pepper
- 2-3 Tbsp Butter
Season pork chops well with salt and pepper. The dust pork chops with some flour. Over medium high heat, melt butter in a large a pan large enough to fit the pork chops. When the butter started to brown, place pork chops in the pan. Cook the first side for about 4 minutes and the second side of the pork chops for 3 minutes until pork is cooked. Remove and keep warm.
Lower heat to medium and stir in onions. Scrap the pan while stir frying the onions and cook onions until it’s soften. Add mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, apricot preserve and brown sugar (or Gula Melaka). Cook mixture until mushrooms shrink and sauce slightly thickened. Reduce heat to low.
Coat pork chops in the balsamic sauce before transferring them onto individual plates or a large serving platter. Scoop some of the mushroom and onion mixture onto the pork chops. Serve pork chops with some rice pilaf, mash potatoes and or sautéed vegetables.
June’s Notes: It’s ok if the pork chops does not fit in one pan; I fried mine 2 at a time. If you think you needed a little butter to fry the 2nd batch of pork chops…by all means, add another 1-2 tbsp of butter. Please note that the mushrooms will have a slightly tart and tangy flavor as they have soaked in the flavors of the balsamic vinegar.
For more information on Balsamic Vinegar, refer to the following sites: