There's a good chance I have made a similar statement before, but I really mean it this time.
There's also the possibility that my opinions were skewed by the fact that we enjoyed this meal by the fire, on our honeymoon, after a great hike to Little Green Mountain, in a storybook-worthy cabin at the tip-top of a mountain, but I'd like to think it was just that damn good.
So we'll just go with the best meal ever classification for now, mm-kay.
Somehow, I managed to pull myself out of relaxation mode long enough to jot down the recipe and snap a few pictures. I had a sinking suspicion I'd want to kick myself later if I didn't. Anything that combines pumpkin butter, sage, two kinds of pig, and butternut squash is inevitably going to be phenomenal.
Only problem was, the sun had set before I finished grilling the pork and I didn't have my trusty Lowel EGO Light light with me.
Have you ever tried to photograph food with a flash? It isn't pretty.
As they say, necessity breeds invention (or in this case, necessity will encourage you to use your brain). I had Scott fuel the fire with a a cardboard box and paper bag, which gave me bright light long enough to get a picture of the end result.
It's not perfect, but its one of the prettiest pictures from the whole dang honeymoon if you ask me.
Pumpkin Butter Sage Pork Chops with Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash and Apple Hash
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
4 pork chops (I used 2 inch thick boneless)
1 butternut squash, diced
2 sweet potatoes, diced
1 apple, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 slices of bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
20 sage leaves, chopped and divided in half
10 sprigs of thyme
1/2 cup of pumpkin butter
1/4 cup of whole grain mustard
Salt and Pepper
4 cups of water
1/4 cup of salt
1/4 cup of sugar
In a large bowl or Ziploc Bag, combine 4 cups of water, 1/4 cup of salt, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 3 sprigs of thyme. Add pork chops and allow to brine for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin butter, mustard and 1/2 of the chopped sage. Heat a skillet over medium low heat, add butter and onion and saute for 30 minutes until onion is caramelized. In a large bowl, combine apples, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, caramelized onion, minced garlic, paprika, remaining chopped sage, and remaining thyme (removed from stem) with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and mix well. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet, top with chopped bacon and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 F for 30-45 minutes until browned. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium high heat. Remove pork chops from brine and season with salt and pepper. Grill pork chops for 12 minutes total, flipping at the 3 minute mark. Baste pork chops with pumpkin butter sauce on the last two flips (minutes 6 and 9). Remove from grill and serve over Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash and Apple Hash.