Maple Balsamic Pork Chops

I am a pretty good cook.  But, it has been a while since I made a meal that pleased everyone at dinner, where all of the planned leftovers were eaten - even fought over, where the hubbie already was asking when we can have this again.

 By unanimous vote, all of my family insisted that I post again, even though I posted today already.  They want me to write down what I did with this dish.  It's that good.

About 3 weeks ago my youngest kiddo went "sugaring".  That is where, here in New England, you gather sap from the sugar maple trees and boil it down to maple syrup.  Pretty cool.

As a result, we have some yummy maple syrup.  I have been brainstorming ways to use it.  This recipe is a result of one of those brainstorms.

I served the chops with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus.  To roast the asparagus, just cut off the woody end.  Place the asparagus on a baking sheet/jelly roll pan.  Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt OR salt and pepper OR whatever you want.  Stick it in the oven with the pork chops.  It will be done at the same time.

Maple Balsamic Pork Chops

6-8 pork chops, thick cut (or as many as your family will eat)
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon canola oil (just eyeball it)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon brown mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2-3 Tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Into a frying pan, heat the oil.  Season each chop with the salt and pepper.  Brown each pork chop in the hot oil, about 3 minutes per side.  You will probably need to do this in batches.

Place all of the browned pork chops in a roasting pan. (Don't clean or put the frying pan in the sink yet.  You will need this to thicken the sauce.)

Mix the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and garlic in a measuring cup.
Pour over the chops.

Place the chops (and the asparagus if you are roasting that) in the preheated oven.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch and cold water.  Set aside.

Remove the chops from the oven and place them on a platter and tent them.

In the frying pan that you used to brown the chops, melt the butter.  To this, add the sauce from the roasting pan.  Bring to a boil.
While whisking the sauce, add the cornstarch.  Whisk until thickened.
Serve over pork chops.

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