In honor of our spirit-infused menu, Chef David Santos has generously shared his recipe for a jumbo pork chop topped with apple-rye compote. You may know him from Louro, an adorable spot in Greenwich Village, NYC. David Santos’ repertoire mixes the warmth of a close immigrant family with culinary expertise, creating the ideal dining scenario: unbelievable food with no pretense. His credentials are pretty impeccable. During his training at Bouley he became enamored with sauces, at Per Se and NJ’s Nicholas excellence was the focus, and at Hotel Griffou he became known for his tasting menus.
He does not like to be reigned in. That’s why every Monday at Louro he casts aside the menu to be inspired by a whimsical theme. The Nossa Mesa Supper Club hosts evenings in honor of, say, a Marvel Comics superhero, the Game of Thrones return, or Fat Elvis, to name a few. The dinners are BYOB, or full bar available, and are truly inventive.
LOURO means bay leaf in Portuguese. The restaurant is named in honor of an uncle in France, who though ailing, trekked out to the backyard to give David a cutting of his cherished bay leaf plant to take back to the US. Though his uncle has passed on, the bay leaf plant thrives, and is a favorite spice in many of David’s dishes. louronyc.com
[Since this post aired, Louro has sadly closed. But keep your ears open for Chef David Santos pop up dinners around NYC, which he lists on his Facebook page]
Pork Chops with Apple-Rye Compote
For the Compote
3 TB butter
1 CUP red onion, small dice
4 apples, peeled and medium dice
2 CUPS WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey
1 CUP maple syrup
1/2 CUP apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the butter and let it start to bubble. Add the onions and sauté until they get soft and begin to color a little, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the WhistlePig, maple syrup, vinegar, salt and pepper and reduce to medium. Allow the apples to cook until most of the liquid is evaporated and the apples are very tender. Place in a container and keep warm.
For the chops
4 double cut pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 CUP grape seed oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and set aside. Choose a large frying pan that will fit all the pork chops and allow it to get really hot over medium high heat. Add the grape seed oil then place the pork chops in the pan. Sear them for about 3-5 minutes until they form a nice brown crust. Flip the chops over and place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and flip the chops over again and allow to rest for 2 minutes. The pork chops should be a nice medium at this point, which is how I prefer to eat a high quality chop.
Braised collards and creamy grits make great accompaniments for this dish.
See more intoxicating recipes for alcohol-infused nibbles in our IN THE SPIRIT issue.