My spouse asked me to come up with dinner one night, and I must admit I’ve been in a rut recently trying to finish my summer semester. There was a time when we used to use meal plans that we’d create on Sunday, then we’d shop for the groceries and make those meals, but we’ve fallen off the wagon, so to speak.
So we had a blank canvas to start with, and, in the end, we built a beauty meal from it. I had bought these pork chops a few weeks ago at the local grocery store when they were on sale, and I froze them when I got home. I knew I wanted to cook them soon, so I thawed them in the fridge for a few days and then asked my youngest to help me out with dinner.
Also, I haven’t used my sous vide machine in a while, so I thought I’d get creative. We seared the pork, and then we let them cool for a few minutes before we vacuum sealed them.
Ultimately, resting makes the biggest difference, but this isn’t a concern with sous vide. I wrote about using sous vide in my cream cheese stuffed chicken recipe—I don’t use it as much as I could, but I use it enough. This time, the sous vide was set to 170F, but you could get away with 155F or 160F.
Realistically, to get a meal from a restaurant that had sous vide your main, you’re looking at a ticket price of at least $25-$30. So yeah, if you only use sous vide four times a year, that could be $100 savings per use if you are cooking for four people. When they cost around $150, plus the vacuum sealer for about $100, that’s just 2-3 meals, and it pays for itself. You can certainly pay more for either device, and you can likely find them used if you’re interested in trying it for the lowest cost. That’s what I did. I bought both machines used, and now I’m glad because I know how much I use them. I use my vacuum sealer much more than my sous vide, but that’s ok.
Back to our meal. We used Big Daddy’s meat seasoning and seared the chops on our grill sear station. Vacuum sealed them, then let them cook for another 45 minutes. Meanwhile, I diced up the ingredients for the salsa and mixed that together. Once the pork was ready for eating, I removed it from the water and opened the bags to the mouth-watering fragrance of the pork chops. We serve our meal with some sous vide cooked corn on the cob. A couple of tablespoons of salted butter in the bag, seal it up and cook it at 180 for 30 minutes. We also added oven-roasted mini potatoes and roasted asparagus. The pork was tender, the salsa was delicious, and they both paired very well with a glass of Josh red wine (one of my wife’s favourite wines). Our “picky eater” daughters, who really aren’t picky, also enjoyed it, so hopefully you will too.
T-bone Pork Chops with Mango Apple Salsa
4-6 pork chops cut ½” to 3/4”
Big Daddy’s Meat rub
1 red apple – cored and diced small
1 mango – peeled and diced small
¼ – 1/3 cup of red onion – chopped fine
1 cucumber – seeded and diced
1 red pepper – seeded and diced small
1/3 cup cilantro
Juice of 1 small orange
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper
- Heat an oven-proof large pan over medium-high heat (or use your grill).
- Preheat your oven to 300F.
- Season one side of the pork chops and place that side down into the frying pan. Season the other side.
- Flip your pork chops once they release easily.
- Place the pan into your oven until the pork chops hit 155 – 165F.
- Let them rest for 20 minutes.
- For sous vide – sear the chops on both sides as before. Let them cool for 5 minutes and place them into a vacuum seal bag. Seal your bag and put them into preheated water of 155 – 170F. Allow to cook in the bath for 30 – 45 minutes; you can go for up to 2 or 3 hours if you really want, but set it to the lower side of the 155 – 170F.
- For the salsa, ensure you have diced all the ingredients into small cubes.
- Mix the mango, apple, onion, cucumber, red pepper, and cilantro into a bowl. (if you are one of those who is put off by cilantro, you can leave it out but maybe add 2 tablespoons of mint.
- Squeeze out the lime and orange juices onto the mixture. Toss to combine.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the salsa on top of the chops and enjoy!