Beer Braised Pork Chops

BLOGGER WON’T LET ME UPLOAD A PICTURE AT THIS TIME! I have a nice photo of the meal, but Blogger seems to have changed it’s procedures. 🙁

Beer Braised Pork Chops
Serves 4

2 teaspoon olive oil
4 boneless pork chops (approximately 6 ounces each)
2 Anjou pears, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
12 ounces beer (it can be a lager or an ale, but NOT a hoppy beer!)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
Your preferred seasoning (I like Penzey’s Krakow Nights.)

  1. Season pork chops with pepper or your preferred seasoning blend.
  2. Preheat large 10-11″ non-stick skillet over med-high heat.
  3. Add oil.
  4. When oil is hot, place chops in skillet and sear 4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
  5. Add pears to the skillet, cooking about 6 minutes, or until golden. Remove to a plate.
  6. Add beer and sage to the pan. With a plastic or wooden spoon, scrape any caramelized bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  7. Return pork and pears to pan, partially cover the skillet and bring to a simmer.
  8. Keep heat on low and braise 5-7 minutes, or until the pork is heated completely.
  9. Remove pork and pears from skillet, cover to keep warm. Increase heat to medium, and cook about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by half.

Nutritional data:
Calories:        305
Fat:                8.5g
Sat fat:           2.6g
Chol:            82.5mg
Sodium:         3.5mg
Carbs:          20.9g
Fiber:             3.6g
Protein:        32.3g

I specifically said “NOT a hoppy beer.”  When the beer gets boiled down, all the flavors will become concentrated. If the chosen beer is a hoppy, deliciously bitter ale (such as the classic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, or Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA) the resulting sauce will be overwhelmingly bitter. Find a soft, mild beer. I used New Glarus Spotted Cow. A German wheat ale (Franziskaner), a malty and fruity Belgian white ale (Hoegaarden) or Ommegang’s Rare Vos would all work very well in this recipe because their flavors would pair well with the pork, the pears and the sage.

Asian Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs

Asian Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs
Serves ?  (Depends on how many racks you prepare. Plan one per person.)

I made this with a pressure cooker. It cooks faster and creates tender meat. You could do this in the oven by roasting with same liquid, but it will take 2+ hours.

4 racks of beef short ribs
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, mashed and minced
2 tablespoon rice wine
1 teaspoon Hoisin sauce
8 ounces beer (a lager is best–try Tsing Tao, Kirin or Sapporo)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

  1. In the pressure cooker, heat the oil.  Season meat.
  2.  Brown on both side. Remove the cooker, set aside.
  3. Add garlic and ginger to the residual juices, turn the heat to med-high and cook until they get fragrant (1 minute.)
  4. Add all remaining ingredients. Stir to dissolve. Add meat. Seal and cook 20 minutes according to your pressure cooker’s directions.
  5. After 20 minutes, let the pressure drop naturally.
  6. If you want, you can take the braising liquid and cook it down (reducing it by half or more) to make a think sauce.  (I didn’t do that.)

I served this with jasmine rice and sesame grilled broccoli. (I drizzled toasted sesame oil over broccoli spears and then grilled them over a hot grill until they were hot and beginning to get some dark brown color.

Nutritional data for one rack of ribs:
Calories:        339
Fat:              20.6g
Sat fat:           8.8g
Chol:         105.4mg
Sodium:     165.8mg
Carbs:           1.3g
Fiber:               0g
Protein:       34.9g