Take Pork Chops To The Next Level With An Easy Jam And Mustard Glaze

A pork chop is one of those cuts that walks the middle path. It's certainly not the leanest nor is it the fattiest. It isn't inherently bursting with flavor, yet it isn't bland in the extreme. Rather, a pork chop is a wonderful culinary canvas with all the meaty structure and body to make a meal. What's more, it is quite customizable. From thick, bone-in, center-cut steaks to thin boneless cutlets, pork chops' savory flavor craves balance, with sweet and tangy ingredients elevating the star of the show. For something that fits the bill, won't break the bank, and is easy to throw together, grab some mustard and jam and get glazing.

Pork of all kinds famously pairs well with both of these ingredients. Charcuterie, which often features pork prominently, is nothing without a little grain mustard to smear about for a bracing counterpoint, and North Carolina barbecue sauce is gold for a reason. Jam, on the other hand, mellows the meatiness with a sweetness and fruitiness that is always a hit with pork, from shoulder to trotter.

The technique could not be simpler. If you have a jar of jam and one of mustard, combine them in a mixing bowl. No ratio is incorrect, simply mix and taste until it is to your liking. Then, season as you see fit with salt, pepper, and any other spices you desire, but bear in mind whether or not you've already seasoned the pork chops themselves.

Make the glaze your own

Beyond being a simple glaze, this mixture works as a marinade of sorts too. After seasoning the pork chops and allowing them to rest in the fridge, place some of the marinade in a bag or dish and completely coat the chops — reserve a portion for glazing. Allow them to marinate for at least a few hours if not overnight. This helps marry the glaze more fully by allowing it to penetrate the top layers of the pork chop.

You've probably already noticed that we haven't specified which varieties in the wide world of mustards and jams to use. That's because there's no wrong way to construct this glaze. Think of what flavors you like, what you're going for in this particular meal, what you're serving on the side, etc. If you are a heat seeker or just like a bit of piquant bite, aim for a sharp mustard, such as a sinus-clearing French Dijon, an American brown or creole mustard, or even something with the added heat of peppers. Whole grain mustards are also a fun addition as the tiny seeds of mustard throughout add crunch to the final glaze. As for jams, follow your heart. Apricot is a classic pairing with pork, and peach jam would work in much the same way. Or, if you've gone with Dijon, lean into the Gallic vibes with a fig jam that has itself a bit of crunch.