Today I thought I would tell you a story about pork chops, but it turns out I don’t really have one. What I do have, is a story about the first pig I met in person. My parents took my brother and I into a pet shop when we were just littles. I loved pet shops because I have loved animals my entire life and have always been fascinated by them. In this particular pet store, we met a baby black piglet. He was a friendly fellow and he wagged his little curl with such enthusiasm. He snorted a bit and was eager for pettings and treats.Even my parents were a little enamored with him and I could see that my mom was really thinking about getting him. We ended up leaving him at the pet store, but I’ve never forgotten him.
When I think back on him and know what I do now about the nature of the domesticated pig, I can’t believe I ever ate them. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve eaten pork. I stopped eating pork and beef long before I became vegan or even vegetarian. I know bacon and pork belly are popular menu items because they taste delicious. But do you know what else is delicious? COCONUT BACON. And this vegan pork chop. 🙂
Vegan Pork Chop w/ Apples Sautéed in Maple Reduction
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
1 lb Match ground pork or ground pork style seitan (the recipe included in the link for the seitan is actually super delicious–I’ve made it, scroll down for the seitan recipe)
salt + pepper
2 tbsp + more if needed Earth Balance
2 gala Apples, diced
1/2 c Dry white wine
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 c pure maple syrup (I like grade B)
If your Match is frozen, let it defrost completely in the fridge. Season your Match with a dash of salt and a bit of pepper and form them into chops with your hands. You should be able to get at least 5 chops out of one package of Match. If you are using seitan, you might need to add a binder to get it to stick together. Try adding small amounts of cooked brown rice. It’s nice and starchy and should help it bind without messing up the flavor too much. 🙂 Heat the Earth Balance in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat.
Cook your chops until they start to golden on both sides. Remove them from the pan and place them on a separate plate. Lower the heat to medium and add a bit more Earth Balance if your pan is dry. Add the apples. Stir them around and make sure to get any crispy bits of pork chop left behind. Add the wine and vinegar. Cook until the liquid is reduced by about half. It will take at least 4-5 min. Add the maple syrup, plus a bit more salt and pepper. Add your chops back to the pan and continue to cook for about 10-15 min.
I served my chops over smokey, cheesey vegan grits, but this dish would also be great with mashed cauliflower or potatoes.