You know those moments where you experience a really amazing dish at a restaurant and ay to yourself, “Oh, I could never make that at home.” But then you pause for a moment, and think, “Or could I?” This happened to me lately.
I went to Stephan Pyles’ amazing Dallas destination restaurant Stampede 66, where even for Texas thing are done seriously big and bold. Think Dallas meets This Is Spinal Tap, and the dial goes up to 11. There was a pork chop on the menu, aptly named the Stampede 66 Pork Chop, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I knew I had to try and recreate it in my kitchen.
In my home version, a super simple and immensely flavorful blend of seasonings is rubbed all over the chops which are pan seared, while you make a colorful and easy black-eyed pea salad. The finishing touch is a couple of apples sautéed up with a bit of butter, brown sugar and brandy. Everything comes together on one beautiful plate, and the result is pretty wow.
Does it look complicated? I promise it’s not. In fact this whole meal comes together in less than 30 minutes (Really! Truly!) If you wanted to skip the apples, I suppose you could, but it’s little burst of sweet that elevates this meal to something special. Maybe a bit of apple chutney would be a good substitute.
Chef Pyles, when you come to New York, I will make this for you, and while I don’t think your day job will feel threatened, I think you might be impressed.
Other Apple Recipes:
Pork Chops with Apples and Black Eyed Pea Salad
For the Pork Chops
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 1-inch thick pork chops (about 3 pounds total)
For the Black-Eyed Pea Salad
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- ½ cup minced red onion
- 1 15.5-ounce can black-eyed peas drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Caramelized Apples
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Granny Smith apples peeled, (if desired), cored and sliced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- In a small bowl combine the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Rub the mixture on both sides of the pork chops.
- Heat a grill pan, or a heavy cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the tablespoon of olive oil. Sear the pork chops on both sides until nicely browned, and cooked through about 4 to 5 minutes per side. The middle should still be very slightly pink, with an internal temperature of 145°F. Tent the pork chops with foil to keep warm.
- While the chops are cooking, make the Black-Eyed Pea Salad: In a medium bowl toss together the tomatoes, onion, black-eyed peas, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Add the butter to the pan you cooked the pork chops in and melt over medium heat. Add the apples and cook for 2 minutes, until they just start to soften. Sprinkle over the brown sugar and cook, stirring often, for another minute or two until you can smell the sugar caramelizing. Add the brandy and bring to simmer, using a spoon or tongs to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Serve each chop on a plate with a generous restaurant-sized scoop of the black-eyed peas and heap some of the apples on top of the chops.
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