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This is such a classic combination of flavors. The pork chops are briefly brined and then pan fried while the squash roasts in the oven.
- 5 1⁄2 cups water, divided
- kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 4 pork chops, 3/4 to 1-inch thick (bone-in pork loin (t-bone)
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 3⁄4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Prepare the brine: Place 5 cups of cold water in a large bowl.
- Next heat 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 4 of the sage leaves in a small saucepan; cook over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add salt mixture to the bowl of cold water.
- Place the pork chops in the brine for at least 10 minutes. Chop 3 of the sage leaves and set aside.
- Now toss together (either in a large bowl or directly on your baking sheet) the squash, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining 5 sage leaves. Season with nutmeg and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Roast until tender about 20 to 25 minutes (at 425 degrees F).
- Drain the pork chops and pat them dry with paper toweling. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Cook pork chops to an internal temperature of 140 degrees, about 5 to 7 minutes per side (you can insert your meat thermometer in the side for a true reading).
- To the skillet, add the chicken broth and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar, simmer, stirring, until reduced by half. This takes about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and squeeze in the lemon juice, add the reserved chopped sage, and any salt to taste.
- To serve: Place a pork chop on each of 4 plates. Drizzle with the pan sauce. Serve squash on the side.