NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

February 6, 2013

Simple, versatile, sweet weeknight pork

My goal was simple — a weeknight-friendly pork dish that was all about sticky-sweet-savory deliciousness. Neither take-out nor heavy lifting would be allowed, and versatility was a must.

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. This required a bit of a balancing act. The marinade would need to be tangy and slightly acidic, but not so acidic that it toughened the pork during what could amount to a 24-hour bath.

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. Relying on mostly Asian-inspired ingredients made that easy. Most pack big flavor and can be combined with ease. I also wanted a sauce for serving with the finished pork, but I didn’t want to break out more ingredients to make that happen.

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. Instant and easy sticky sauce with no extra effort or expense.

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)

Servings: 6

1/2 cup red wine

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce

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