A Daily Dinner: Berkshire Pork with Escarole
Pork chops and greens.
There really isn’t a more simple or more traditional family meal. In the winter, we find ourselves returning to simple and traditional preparations—they’re soothing, and warming on even the coldest winter days (which we actually haven’t had that many of…yet!).
For this dinner, rather than a “regular” pork chop, we used meaty Berkshire pork medallions.
Berkshire pigs—the famed black pigs of England, a breed more than 300 years old—produce juicy, tender meat that is some of the most flavorful we’ve ever had. Many consider Berkshire pork to be the Kobe beef of swine, with great marbling and tenderness. Our medallions were beautiful, with a big band of melty fat down one side that cooked in just a few minutes, seasoned generously with just salt and pepper.
Their accompaniment was an assertive blend of escarole, red onion cooked in balsamic vinegar, and crumbled blue cheese. This easy side dish was brought to life by the tangy vinegar and salty cheese.
The bitter bite of escarole is a classic favorite winter flavor. This dish would pair well with almost any protein. In fact, we might try it next with some Cornish game hens. Mmmm…
Pork Medallions with Escarole, Blue Cheese and Balsamic Onions
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 Berkshire pork medallions
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 small red onion, sliced
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 head escarole, torn
1/4 c. blue cheese, crumbled
1. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
2. Cook pork until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
4. Add the vinegar and cook until the onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Add the escarole and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the blue cheese and serve with the pork.
Even though this dinner is starkly simple, it is one of our favorites of the past few months.
Seeking out and using good quality ingredients—fresh produce, humanely-raised meat, good cheese—might take a little more effort, but the reward is huge. When something as simple as a piece of pork, seasoned solely with salt and pepper, becomes transcendent, you know you’ve done it right.
- Laura and Ryan
What We Used: Slate Cheese Board