If you are living in the United States and are into food and sourcing your own local ingredients, there has never been a better time. All over the country, farmers markets are popping up, and more people have access to small, local producers and purveyors. Here in Northern California, we have a plethora of small farms doing amazing stuff, all organic, free-range, and devoid of antibiotics.
One of my favorite farms is Prather Ranch. While they produce mostly beef, Prather retail shop owner Doug Stonebreaker recently started a herd of pigs under the Range Brothers label, and they are absolutely fantastic. I caught up with Doug at his retail shop at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco to ask him what makes his pork so special. Doug looks like a real cowboy and is wearing a shirt bearing the words “PRAISE THE LARD.” Read the eBook for the full interview and a delicious recipe that is tailored to this high-quality pork.
Download the PDF, PRAISE THE LARD from Breville Food Thinkers.
Range Brothers Bone-In Pork Shoulders Chop with Sauteed Brussel Sprouts
Recipe courtesy of James Stolich of CookWithJames.com.
This has to be one of my favorite pork cuts. It really only works with the best quality pork, so make sure you are either buying direct from Prather Ranch/Range Brothers or from a small, local producer of heritage pigs.
The fat and marbling on this cut are amazing, and I like to simply grill it like a steak. When done right, it’s incredibly tender and succulent with loads more flavor than your typical loin or even rib chop.
- 4 bone-in shoulder cut heritage pork chops
- salt & pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, peeled and trimmed of excess leaves, cut into
¼” round slices
- ½ pound maple-wood-smoked bacon (or any good-quality artisan bacon
or pancetta from a heritage pig)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons of best-quality dried Herbs De Provence
- Take your shoulder chops out of the refrigerator at least one hour prior
to cooking. Liberally season them with salt and drizzle with olive oil.
Rub the oil and salt into them and allow them to come to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, prepare your brussels sprouts for cooking by cutting off
the bottom and peeling off the tougher outer leaves. Then slice each
sprout—depending on size—into 2-to-3¼” round pieces. Cut your bacon
up into a medium dice.
- Now that all your “mise en place” is done, you are ready to cook. In a
medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the butter over
high heat until almost smoking. Add the brussels sprouts and cook on one
side until nicely brown and caramelized, approximately 4-5 minutes. Gently
salt them and season with the herbs. Flip the sprouts and continue cooking.
- Add the bacon and stir through. Lower the heat to medium and cook
until the other side of the sprouts is slightly brown and the bacon is
rendered but not overly cripsy. Turn the heat down to low and de-glaze the
pan with white wine. Continue cooking at a simmer until the alcohol has
burned off, approximately 3-4 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside and
- Heat up your countertop grill on high or a grill pan over a high flame
(or do this over a wood fire or barbecue).
- For countertop grill: When ready, place pork shoulder on grill and close. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the
thickest part of the pork (not touching the bone) reads 130º.
For grill pan: When the grill is very hot, place the pork shoulder into the center of the grill pan. Cook without disturbing for approximately 4-5 minutes,
depending on the thickness of the cut. Flip and cook another 3 minutes on
the other side or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest
part of the pork (not touching the bone) reads 130º.
- The chops should be nicely browned on both sides. Remove to a cutting board
and let rest for at least 8 minutes.
- To plate, arrange several spoonfuls of the brussels sprouts/bacon mixture
onto the center of four plates. Place a cooked pork shoulder chop over
the top of each and drizzle with pan juices.