It seems like all I want to do these days is roast.
It’s probably because nothing is better than coming in from the cold to a nice toasty kitchen. Plus, leaving something to roast away for a while means that your oven does most of the work, and that’s always nice when someone else does the work for you.
But with all the roasting that’s been going on over here, I started running out of normal things to throw into a hot oven. Had to think outside of the box a little.
Sometimes I buy grapes just because of how pretty they are. They are kind of the Top Model of the fruit world. I mean, how many times can a bunch of grapes be painted before they start to get an ego. They’re just so effortlessly photogenic.
Just look at them, they know it.
But I do really miss buying grapes from the laiki (farmers market) in Athens. I would fill a bag up to the brim and still be able to pay for them with coins. When I buy grapes in America, I’m usually a little bit nervous to check my receipt afterwards.
Still totally worth it though.
While a bunch of grapes is perfectly regal on it’s own, they are definitely at their best when in the company of a good cheese or two. You just can’t beat the combination. Probably why they have been served up together since the beginning of plates.
So when I got a pair of pasture raised pork chops from the farmers market a few weeks ago, I knew that they were destined to be topped with something fabulous. Sort of felt like having rustic meet fancy.
We had some brie left over from Thanksgiving, so I snagged it from my parents refrigerator with full intentions of making it into a warm blanket for my pork chops.
A creamy, melty blanket. And since both pork chops and brie are partnered so well with fruit, I thought nothing would be nicer than to load the top off with some sultry, roasted grapes. I’m up for any excuse to roast something new, after all.
Don’t be thrown off by the roasted grapes. The high heat does something really special to them. The natural sugars get caramelized, and their coating of olive oil, black pepper, and fresh thyme reminds them that they are a part of something savory.
Round all of that out with a pan sauce made from white wine and grainy mustard, and you will never look at grapes the same again.
- 2 bone in pork chops
- 1.5 cup seedless grapes
- 1/4 lb brie
- 1 tbs whole grain mustard
- fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
- olive oil
- splash of white whine
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Pluck grapes from stems, spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Add sprig of fresh thyme if using. Toss to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes, giving them a stir periodically.
- While grapes roast, heat a little oil in a cast iron pan (or other oven safe pan) to medium high heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Add pork chops to pan and sear for about 5 minutes on each side.
- Slice brie and spread over pork chops. Place pan with pork chops into the hot oven for the last few minutes of the grapes cooking time to melt the brie and bring the pork chops to 140 degrees.
- Remove grapes and pork chops from oven, and plate pork chops, covered, to rest.
- Return the pan back to stovetop and deglaze with a splash of white wine or broth. Add mustard and black pepper, scraping the pan to incorporate all the browned bits.
- Top pork chops with roasted grapes and drizzle with pan sauce.
These pork chops are wonderful served next to roasted Brussels sprouts. You can roast them along with the grapes at the same temperature, putting them in 10-15 minutes before you add the grapes.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.