Skillet Fried Pork Chops and Roasted Brussels Sprouts


This was perhaps my favorite preparation in quite a while. I really devoured it, even to the point of gnawing at every little bit of flesh on the bones of those chops.

SANY0069 Fist, though, let's talk about the roasted Brussels sprouts — roasted with whole garlic and onions and tossed in a shallot & balsamic vinegar reduction — a preparation I can't take credit for. This one was linked to at Mark's Daily Apple quite some time ago and I fixed it once. However, I blended a couple of recipes I found and ended up cutting the sprouts in half and also blanching them prior to roasting.

That was okay, but I decided to do it pretty much exactly by the recipe this time out, only I didn't have red onion or fresh rosemary. I used yellow onion and dried rosemary. Still, it came out fabulous and, if you don't like Brussels sprouts, I very much encourage you to give this recipe a shot.

So, now for the pork chops. Standard, bone in. I fried them in the skillet with mostly quite a lot of coconut oil and a bit of bacon drippings. I cooked them on low until pink and moist inside, then poured off most of the fat, turned up the heat and browned them well, leaving lots of good bits in the pan. I set them aside to rest, then deglazed with a real nice chicken stock, which I found at the local supermarket and was actually free range organic with no nefarious ingredients whatsoever.

Soon as the deglazing was done, I added more stock, a half-handful of chopped shallot, and a hefty handful of fresh blueberries. I crushed the berries, turned up the heat, and let it reduce. Once it neared completion, I added about three tbsp of fresh organic cream to finish it off and smooth it out. Finally, as I plated the chops, I added back in the drippings from resting.


In case I hadn't mentioned it, we're up at our cabin in Arnold, CA (Google Maps) for the week as Beatrice, junior high school counselor, just finished out the year.

Finally, if the photo presentation looks a bit improved, I've got to give inspirational credit to my friend and neighbor, Julie Olson, who does wonderfully artistic food blogging at Fraises Et Tartines. Her and husband Trevor are in Paris just now, and I'm horribly jealous.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Julie (fraises et tartines) on June 15, 2009 at 23:48

    Looks like the pork chops and brussel sprouts turned out well! I'm going to have to try that brussel sprout recipe. I love 'em, but rarely make them.

    Thank you for the blog mention! I'm so glad my photos could inspire your photography! …oh, and nice montage!

  2. Tin Tin on June 16, 2009 at 01:06

    Wow! All your food looks and sounds fantastic but the photos on this one really make it something special.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense a Paleo cook book in the making…

  3. Kathleen Conway on June 16, 2009 at 07:04

    Did you try to stick to the recipe for roasted brussels sprouts because of your interview with Rachel Matesz? She went into detail about why she thought it was important to follow recipes. I had never thought about it that way until I read the interview.

  4. Stacy on June 16, 2009 at 07:57

    If you have the space on your balcony, you should try to grow some fresh herbs, we did this year and WOW what a difference, especially basil & rosemary. Not just for the taste but the fragrance of the fresh herbs as you cook is outstanding. Great Pics, this is something I’m going to try, I just found that I love Brussels Sprouts.

  5. Richard Nikoley on June 16, 2009 at 07:50

    Let me put it this way: while some things like grilling a piece of meat, or roasting or broiling are sometimes a matter of KISS to me, I am certainly not so arrogant as to presume that I can continually — or often, even — come up with more complex, creative preparations that rival or even come close to what's available in fantastic cookbooks, cook shows, or on the web.

    Many of these are by pros or semi-pros, and a person would be really missing out in not using them, and, out of respect or whatever, one ought to do it "right" at least the first time.

    So, yes, Rachel's response to that question was both a bit unexpected, but right on and a great admonition, I think.

    I want to do both. I love to just come up with a recipe completely on my own, in my head, drawing from my own experience one afternoon, and then see it on a plate that evening. I cook for lots of guests — often 2-3 times per week — and they keep coming back.

    At the same time, I know that to expand and improve my own portfolio, I've got to sometimes or often follow someone's recipe to a T, and then I can add my own flair.

    Yep, that was actually my favorite answer by Rachel.

  6. Richard Nikoley on June 16, 2009 at 09:40

    I doubt it. I have mentioned that I want to write a beginners guide, and indeed that's in beginning stages. That'll have food and cooking info, of course, and maybe a few basics, but I'll leave the cookbooks to the cooking pros.

  7. Joanne at Open Mind Required on June 16, 2009 at 11:56

    Oh my, that sounds and looks so good. I've saved it to my recipes folder. I never learned to cook, and reading posts like this help me understand how various foods can change the flavor and texture of a meal, like blueberries and cream.

  8. Chef Rachel on June 17, 2009 at 14:04

    Hi Richard,
    Great looking meal you made!I like the way you blended two different recipes when making the brussels sprouts, the way you made use of what you had on hand, and that you used classic techniques to prepare the chops. You are correct that following other people's recipes to the T makes it easier to add your own flair the next time around with more confidence!

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