My goal was simple – a weeknight-friendly pork dish that was all about sticky-sweet-savory deliciousness.
The solution called for something that could marinate all day – or even all night and all day. That way I could prep it the night before, pop it in the refrigerator to get yummy, and ignore it until dinner the following night.
It also needed to be easy. I was willing to do nothing more than dump all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, stir, then dump in the meat.
I also wanted a sauce for serving with the finished pork, but I didn't want to break out more ingredients.
That turned out to be an easy fix. All I needed to do was boil down the marinade on the stovetop while the pork cooked.
Finally, the versatility. My favorite recipes are those that aren't fussy about which cut of meat I use. Because sometimes I have pork chops, sometimes I have tenderloin. Sometimes I even just have chicken.
Any of the above will work nicely in this recipe. If you use chicken, opt for boneless, skinless chicken thighs; they hold up to basic roasting better without drying out.
Sticky marinated pork chops
Start to finish: 30 minutes (plus marinating)
½ cup red wine
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup mirin
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon dry ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6 boneless pork chops
Cooked rice, to serve (optional)
In large bowl, whisk together wine, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, vinegar, oil, hot sauce, liquid smoke, ginger and garlic powder. Add pork chops, turning them with a fork to ensure all of meat is coated. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least several hours, or up to 24 hours.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then set a wire rack over it. Coat the rack with cooking spray.
Arrange pork chops on rack. Reserve the marinade. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until starting to brown and the chops reach 145 degrees at the center.
Meanwhile, pour reserved marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook for 15 minutes, or until slightly reduced and thickened. Set aside.
Once the pork has cooked, transfer it to a serving plate. Drizzle hot marinade over it. Serve immediately, over rice if desired.
Per serving: 300 calories; 80 calories from fat (27 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 80 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 32 g protein; and 890 mg sodium.