Cocoa Rubbed Pork Chops

Pork chops are a staple in my diet, and although my all-time favorite way to cook them is to pan-fry them in clarified butter with some black pepper, oregano, and grated lemon zest, I’m always game for trying out new things.

I’ve enjoyed cocoa-rubbed beef in the past, and I couldn’t think of any reason why the flavor wouldn’t work with pork. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper (the really spicy kind)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (because I can’t think of pork without it)
  • a couple pinches of salt *
  • 2 tbs clarified butter
  • 2 pork chops

Mix spices, and rub the chops on both sides. Heat a pan to medium-high, melt some butter, and cook the chops 3-4 minutes on each side. The ones I used were not even 1 cm thick (less than half an inch) so they were cooked really fast, but you may need to adjust temperature and cooking time depending on thickness.

About a minute before turning off the heat, I threw some crushed hazelnuts in the pan, and served them on top of the chops. Added a really nice crunch to an already delicious dish 🙂

* About salt: I usually avoid adding salt to anything other than meat, and since I don’t eat processed foods, my daily intake is on the low side. There is some controversy about whether the use of salt is an acceptable Paleo practice, but I find the amount I use in just one meal per day enhances my quality of life too much to give it up.

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