Thanks to the pomegranate tree in the backyard of my parents' house I have been eating them since I was a kid and have always loved them. Of course, the only way I knew how to eat them as a kid was to hit them up against a rock until they split open and eat them with my hands, staining my hands, face and clothes in the process (much to my mom's repeated dismay.)
Who knew they would become so trendy decades later? They're now in salads, smoothies, pressed juice and, as here, served over pork chops! And aside from being delicious they have an amazing anti oxidant capacity that beats blueberries, cranberries and red wine (what?!)
If you can't find the seeds available in your local supermarket or Trader Joe's try my mom's foolproof method. Place a dishwashing tub or large bowl in the kitchen sink and fill with water. Slice the pomegranate open and place one half at a time under water. Split it open with your hands (as long as they're under water they won't stain) and separate the seeds from the rind. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the small pieces of rind will float to the top. Use your fingers or a strainer to remove the rind from the top of the water, discard, then pour the remaining water and seeds through the strainer.
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses*
2 tbsp 100% pomegranate juice (not from concentrate)
2 tbsp dry red wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt, freshly ground pepper
4 8 ounce bone-in loin pork chops
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
In a small bowl combine the pomegranate molasses, juice, wine, vinegar, 2 tsp of oil and brown sugar. Whisk to combine. Stir in the garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat remaining oil on skillet at medium high and cook pork chops on each side until brown. Add pomegranate sauce and lower heat to medium and allow pork chops to simmer until sauce has thickened and pork chops have cooked throughly (160-170 degrees F). This should take no longer than 30 minutes. Serve pork chops immediately with a drizzle of sauce.
*Pomegranate molasses is a thick reddish-brown condiment available in Middle Eastern markets. If it's not available, or if you don't have the time to look (hehe) you can reduce 1 cup of pomegranate juice to 1/4 cup and add 1 tsp molasses.