We're huge fans of dinner recipes that only require one pan, include lots of veggies and make you fill full and satisfied. A hash provides all the savory flavors but we specially love using sweet potato and apples to get some nice sweetness in the dish. Just top your hash with sliced pan roasted pork and you have the best dinner ever.
Ingredients for the Best Dinner Hash
This has recipe includes a couple of ingredients but odds are you most likely already have most, if not all of these in your pantry and fridge. Here's what you'll need:
Pork Chop: For this recipe, we use two, 10-ounce, bone-in pork chops. Leaving the bone in helps to keep the chops nice and tender and gives the pork extra flavor as it cooks. If you decide to cook a boneless pork chop, or use a smaller sized chop, you will have to cook the chop for less time in the oven.
Vegetables: I like to use the combination of sweet potatoes, onions and brussels sprouts for my pork hash because of the fact that they pair so nicely with the other flavors in the hash and make for a hearty breakfast option. If you want to go another route, have at it. You can do any combination of vegetables you’d like.
Fruit: I like to go with apples here because apples and pork pair perfectly and they provide just the right amount of sweetness to the dish. You can just as easily leave them out or replace them with another fruit like a firm pear or peach. Dried fruits such as cherries or cranberries could also work as a nice replacement.
Herbs: Sage and thyme serve as a nice pairing for the pork and add a nice pop of flavor. If you want to leave out the herbs, you can, but I don’t recommend it. The herbs give each bite another flavor dimension and will help keep you excited until the very end.
Spices: I add paprika and cumin to the chops, along with salt and pepper to give the pork chop a little “kick”. You don’t have to use the spices to rub the chop but it does give the dish a nice touch. I also use just a touch of ground cinnamon to the hash to complement the apples and sweet potatoes.
Glaze: For the glaze, I add a splash of maple syrup, cook it briefly to reduce, and then mounte it with butter to give the syrup a nice glossy viscosity. A perfect substitute for the maple syrup is honey.
How to Sauteé & Pan Roast to Perfection
The two keys to being able to successfully saute are the pan you use and heat control.
The pan is important because you want something heavy-bottomed that will retain the heat when you add your food to the pan. If the pan is light and flimsy, it will cool down instantly when you add the food to the pan and then you won’t be able to achieve the high temperatures necessary to get the proper caramelization and coloring.
The initial high temperatures are important to start because they are what sears the exterior of the foods being sauteed. You are essentially flash-dehydrating the outsides of your food, removing the moisture on the exterior, to the point where you reach the sugars in the food that eventually start to caramelize, which result in flavor development. This process needs to happen quickly or else you will end up slowly evaporating the liquid out of the food and will be left with very little caramelization/flavor. When the heat is too low, you will be left with a rubbery texture without any of the deep-roasted flavor you want in a sauteed food item. Once you get the food into the hot pan and establish that initial sear, then you can turn the heat down to medium and let it cook until all sides are evenly roasted. Don’t forget to add a splash or two of oil to serve as a conductor for the heat.
Tips to Creating the Best Glaze
The technique we use here to give the hash a glaze with a nice and glossy appearance is called Monter au Beurre, or mounting with butter. This traditional French technique is used to finish many of the classical French sauces and is integral in giving a sauce a brilliant richness and gentile viscosity that allows the sauce to coat whatever it is accompanying. However, sometimes the sauce can break so here are a few helpful keys to live by:
Make sure the butter is diced into small chunks and that you add it little by little and that the butter is very cold: If the butter is warm it will melt too fast and will not evenly disperse into the sauce. If the chunks of butter are too big the sauce will become overwhelmed by the fats in the butter, causing it to separate as opposed to emulsify. This will leave you with a greasy and bland sauce as opposed to a full-flavored and creamy sauce.
Make sure the sauce doesn’t get too hot: If the temperature of the sauce is too hot the butter will melt too quickly and the sauce will separate. You want the sauce to be no hotter than 195 F when you start adding the butter. On the reverse, you also want to make sure that the sauce is hot enough to melt the butter.
Constantly stir or swirl the sauce when adding the butter: The stirring and swirling effect is what allows the butter to melt evenly into the sauce and create a stable emulsion. If you stop stirring or swirling while the butter is melting, the sauce will separate.
What if the Sauce Breaks?
If the sauce does separate, you can try adding a few splashes of cold stock or water, while stirring vigorously, which will help the butter cool down and re-emulsify into the sauce. Then continue adding the remaining butter. Another technique is to add a few more teaspoons of maple syrup to the glaze and to reduce that slightly before adding the remaining butter. This will help add substance for the butter to adhere to.
Tips for Making a Delicious Dinner Hash
Season in stages: Make sure you are seasoning in stages and are seasoning each ingredient individually to bring out the full flavor of each ingredient. Start by adding just a pinch or two of salt to each ingredient and then taste the hash as a whole at the end and see if you need to add more salt.
Cooking time depends on your pork chop: If you decide to use a boneless pork chop, or decide to use a smaller sized chop, you will have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. The amount of time spent in the pan will remain the same but you will have to reduce the amount of time in the oven. When in doubt, always use a thermometer.
1 ½ cup of brussel sprouts (base cut and quartered)
1 large sweet potato (peeled and large diced)
1 small yellow onion (peeled and large diced)
1 tablespoon of bacon fat
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of fresh sage (chiffonade or chopped)
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme (picked and chopped)
2 bone-in pork chops (about 10 ounces each)
For the Pork Chops:
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
½ teaspoon of paprika
2 teaspoons of salt
Black pepper to taste
Remove your pork chops from the fridge and season them liberally on each side with the salt (about ½-1 full teaspoon of salt per chop) and then fresh cracked pepper. Sprinkle the ground cumin and paprika on each side as well and set the pork chops aside at room temperature to permeate.
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Put a large skillet or saute pan on the stove and heat over high heat.
After about 30 seconds, add about 1 teaspoon of bacon fat, followed by the peeled and diced sweet potatoes. Cook the potatoes on medium-high heat for about six minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown and almost cooked through. Season the potatoes with a few pinches of salt and remove from the pan to sit aside.
Add another teaspoon of bacon fat and repeat the same process in order to cook the brussel sprouts for about 5 minutes. Season the brussels with a few pinches of salt and transfer to the same bowl as the sweet potatoes.
Add another teaspoon of bacon fat and then the apples and onions together. Repeat the same process, cooking the apples and onions together for about 4-5 minutes or until the onions become slightly translucent and the apples become slightly caramelized. Season with a few pinches of salt and add them to the brussels and sweet potatoes.
Put the pan back on the stove and heat for about 15 seconds. Add both pork chops and ensure that each chop fits flatly in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 4 minutes or until the sides that are in the pan are a deep and even brown color.
Flip each chop and cook on the second side for about 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, Transfer the chops to a sheet tray (don’t wash the saute pan) and transfer to the oven to finish cooking the chops for about 6 minutes, or until the chops read an internal temperature of 135 F. When the chops are finished cooking, transfer them to a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
While the chops are baking, turn the heat back on to the skillet and heat for about 15 seconds. When the pan is hot, add the sauteed vegetables from earlier to the pan and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Add the ground cinnamon and stir to coat the vegetables and continue to cook for about 30 seconds to slightly toast the cinnamon.
After 30 seconds, add the maple syrup and cook for about 30 seconds to bring the syrup to a simmer.
Add the butter, turn off the heat, and swirl the pan in a circular motion to mounte the butter into the sauce. Keep the pan moving until all of the butter is melted into the hash.
Add the chopped herbs and season the hash to taste with salt and pepper.
Once the pork chops have rested, remove the bone from each chop and dice one of the chops into cubes similar in size to the vegetables in the hash and thinly slice the other chop.
Add the diced pork into the hash and mix gently to combine. Add the hash to each plate and top with the sliced pork.
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