Brunch is that meal that's a little late for breakfast, but a little early for lunch, and combines the best of both worlds. Not just for people who like to sleep in, brunch can be a wonderful end to an early-morning event, or an excellent way to kick off a special day. One thing that doesn't show up enough on brunch menus is pork chops. That's a shame because they are very tasty meat for a large, casual meal, and they go nicely with traditional breakfast and lunch fare.
Replace Links and Strips with Chops
Bacon and sausage are usually more expected as brunch meat options, but they are high-fat options. For those a little more health-minded, instead of putting out bacon strips or sausage links and patties, serve pork chops. Boneless center-cut pork chops that are sliced thin and trimmed of excess fat, either grilled or roasted, can make an excellent meat side for pancakes, waffles and other sweet carbohydrate offerings. Sprinkle them with a mix of sausage seasonings -- such as fennel, paprika and garlic powder -- or ranch seasoning mix, and your guests will never miss their fattier pork counterparts.
Shredded Pork Chops
For a brunch with a Southern flair, put some pulled barbecue pork on the table -- or at least fake it by de-boning and shredding leftover barbecued pork chops. Heat up the shredded meat on the grill a minute or two, then season and sauce it as you please. It can be delicious when combined with shredded home fries, or stuffed into a Western omelet full of peppers and onions, then topped with salsa or creamy dressing. Alternately, try a sweet and savory combination, such as pulled pork smothered in spicy honey barbecue sauce scooped onto a slice of sweet cinnamon raisin bread, or use the pork as the meat filling on a more traditional breakfast sandwich with eggs and cheese between English muffins. Spread a thin layer of creamy dressing on the English muffins for some additional flavor. Either option goes over well with kids coming to brunch.
Pan-Fried Pork Chops and Eggs
If you have serious pork-lovers with big appetites coming to your brunch, don't be afraid to use pork chops the way you would use other meat at brunch. For example, instead of steak and eggs, make pan-fried pork chops and eggs. A couple of hearty pan-fried pork chops will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. Top them with some scrambled eggs and cheese. Drizzle some creamy dressing over the dish for a delicious flavor combination. Serve it up with some biscuits, gravy, hash-browns and hush puppies on the side. Keep this in mind for Father's Day or the birthday brunch of the pork-lover in your life.
Pork Chop Sandwiches
If sandwiches are on the brunch menu, pork chops make a wonderful sandwich meat, especially when topped with an apple butter and creamy cole slaw. Try braising your pork chops for your next brunch to make them sandwich-perfect. Braising is a low-and-slow cooking technique in which your seasoned and seared meat is placed in a small, tightly covered container with a small amount of flavorful liquid and aromatics, such as apple cider and sliced onions. Cooking it longer on a low temperature prevents the meat from drying out so that it is is tender when it comes out of the oven. Remove the bone to make the chops into finger sandwiches so they are suitable for a brunch buffet offering.
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