- 2 double-cut, bone-in pork rib chops (about 1 1/4 pounds each)
- 3 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 1 crushed
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves, plus 2 thyme sprigs
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons crushed black peppercorns, plus 6 whole peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 star anise pod, crushed
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 flat-leaf parsley sprig
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 quart chicken stock
- Put the pork chops in a glass baking dish and rub them all over with the minced garlic, chopped thyme and 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- In a spice grinder or a clean coffee mill, combine the turbinado sugar with the juniper berries, coriander seeds, crushed peppercorns, fennel seeds and star anise and grind to a sandy powder. Sprinkle the spice rub all over the chops. Cover and refrigerate again overnight.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the pork shoulder pieces and cook over moderately high heat, stirring once, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot, shallots, rosemary, parsley, crushed garlic, whole peppercorns and thyme sprigs; cook until the shallots begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and honey and boil over high heat until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the pork stock has reduced to 3/4 cup, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain the jus into a small saucepan and skim off the fat.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the pork chops and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the pork chops for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chops registers 150°. Remove from the oven and let the chops rest in the skillet for 8 minutes.
- Reheat the pork jus and season with salt. Cut the pork between the rib bones into 4 chops and transfer to plates, browned side up. Serve with the jus. Alternatively, cut the meat off the bones and carve the chops as you would a roast.
Malbec once had a reputation in France as a blending grape. Then Argentinian vintners in the Mendoza Valley discovered just how great it can be on its own, especially with something hearty like these chops.