Pork Gratin Onions

Arguably the biggest barbecue day of the year—July 4th—is fast approaching. Haven’t planned your menu yet?  Never fear, Rahm Fama, author of Meat and Potatoes, has you covered.  Below he shares a delicious meal that all your meat-loving friends will devour.

Mix a few cocktails and gather your friends around the grill at sunset. This dinner is casual and quick. The center-cut or pork loin chop includes a large T-shaped bone, similar to the beef T-bone. Bone-in chops tend to be juicier because the bones help the meat retain its moisture. Horseradish loses most of its fire but not its flavor when heated, and it gives this creamy gratin a gentle kick. Grill these tangy-sweet onions just as you’re finishing the pork chops to serve on top for a final flourish. SERVES 6

1 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
5 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks

1. Put the sugar, salt, cloves, fennel, peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and 2 quarts water in a large pot. Set over high heat to warm, and stir for 3 minutes to dissolve the sugar and salt.
2. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate so the brine is cold before adding the pork to brine for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.

Rahm’s Brine for Pork (page 84), made 1 day ahead
6 T-bone pork chops
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. One day before cooking, brine the pork (see page 84).
2. Prepare a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to high.
3. Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse, and pat dry. Coat the chops with oil. Grill the chops for 6 minutes, flip, and continue grilling for another 6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Set on a rack over a platter and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

6 russet potatoes
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Slice the potatoes ¼ inch thick, leaving the skin on.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the horseradish, heavy cream, and sour cream and add the potato slices.
4. In a 1-quart casserole or baking dish, arrange a layer of the potatoes, sprinkle with some of the cheese, and top with another layer of potatoes. Continue layering the potatoes and cheese. Finish by pouring any cream remaining in the bowl over the potatoes and sprinkling with the remaining cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
5. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until the top is bubbly and the potatoes are cooked through.
6. Let rest for 3 to 5 minutes and cut into squares.

1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 red onions, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Prepare a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill.
2. In a medium saucepan, warm the vinegar over low heat.
3. Grill the onions for 1 minute per side or until tender and browned.
4. Add the grilled onions to the vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the vinegar is reduced by half.
5. Whisk in the butter and serve over the pork


From Meat and Potatoes: Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear

A July 4th Recipe to Savor

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