Pork chops with caramelized onion and honey-roasted root vegetables

Paleo, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Low Calorie

2 Servings, 550 Calories/Serving

30 – 40 Minutes

This meal is a multipart tribute to Louis Camille Maillard, the French chemist who discovered what we now call the Maillard reaction. The delicious browning process is what happens when foods meet a hot pan. Here, sweet potatoes, turnips, and carrots burnish as they roast, tossed with a little honey and rosemary. Meanwhile, an onion caramelizes in the same pan used to brown the pork, ratcheting up the meaty, subtly sweet flavors of the entire dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 sweet potatoes
  • 5 ounces turnips
  • ½ pound carrots
  • Fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Two 6-ounce boneless pork loin chops
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

Instructions

1

Prep the root vegetables

Heat the oven to 425ºF.
  • Scrub the sweet potatoes. Trim the ends and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.
  • Scrub the turnips. Trim the ends and cut the turnips in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.
  • Scrub or peel the carrots and trim off the tops; cut the carrots on the diagonal into ¼-inch slices.
  • Strip the rosemary leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.

2

Roast the root vegetables

In a medium bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, rosemary, honey, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season generously with salt and pepper; toss to coat. On a sheet pan, spread the vegetables in an even layer and roast, stirring halfway through, until tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
While the vegetables roast, cook the pork and the onion.

3

Sear the pork

  • Pat the pork dry with a paper towel; season generously with salt and pepper.
In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 teaspoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the pork; cook until just browned but not yet cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Do not clean the pan.

4

Caramelize the onion and finish the pork

  • Peel and thinly slice the yellow onion.
  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
  • Strip the thyme leaves from the stems.
In the same pan used for the pork, if dry, add 1 to 2 teaspoons oil and warm over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the onion is browned and begins to soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir in the butter, if using.
Add the pork and any accumulated juices. Cover and cook until the pork is cooked through but still faintly pink within, 3 to 4 minutes.

5

Serve

Transfer the roasted vegetables to individual plates and top with the pork, then the onions and pan sauce and serve.

Chef’s tip: To deepen the flavor of the pan sauce even more, in Step 4, swap in ¼ cup each red wine and water instead of just ½ cup water.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 550, Protein: 39 g, Total Fat: 10 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 g, Saturated Fat: 2.5 g, Cholesterol: 90 mg, Carbohydrates: 78 g, Fiber: 11 g, Added Sugar (Honey clover): 22 g, Sodium: 520 mg
Contains: milk

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