This recipe for baked pork chops seasoned with Chinese five spice powder and served with sautéed escarole is a fantastic way to add some flavor to your usual dinnertime meal while still keeping it quick and easy!
If you’re not familiar with these ingredients, Chinese five spice powder is a blend of—you guessed it—five different spices: star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorns (traditionally Szechuan peppercorns), cloves, and cinnamon. It really punches up these pork chops, giving them both a little heat and a sweet aromatic flavor.
You might know escarole as a salad green, but like most greens, it’s capable of so much more than that. In this recipe, a hint of vinegar, a pat of butter, and a scant drizzle of maple syrup turn escarole into a warm side dish that’s perfect with pork. It’s a bold medley of sweet, salty, and pleasantly bitter flavors. The bitter flavor of escarole can be a “love it” or “hate it” thing. This recipe is meant to woo the haters and please those who enjoy escarole’s natural bitterness.
A very large head of escarole wilts down to four small servings when cooked. Plan to serve another side with the meal, or, if you really love escarole, cook two heads instead of one.
Chinese Five Spice Baked Pork Chops with Sautéed Escarole Recipe
Time in the Kitchen: 35 minutes
- 1 Tbsp Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil
- 2 bone-in pork chops with fat cap, about 1” thick
- ¾ tsp Chinese five spice powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 head escarole, chopped and washed well
- 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
Sprinkle the five spice powder, salt, and pepper on both sides of the pork chops.
Heat an oven-safe skillet on your stovetop over medium-high heat. If your pork chops have a nice fat cap, place the pork chops in the pan sticking straight up with fat touching the pan. This will render some of the fat into the pan, which you can use to sear the chops. Otherwise, heat the avocado oil in the pan.
Once hot, place the pork chops in the pan and sear for 2 to 3 minutes until browned. Flip over and repeat on the other side.
Place the pan in the oven and let the pork chops bake until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62 degrees Celsius). Transfer the pork chops to a rimmed plate, pour half of the pan juices on top of the pork, and set aside.
Heat the pan again over medium-high heat. Add the vinegar and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. When the vinegar begins to bubble and starts to evaporate, add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the coconut aminos and maple syrup. Stir until combined, then add the escarole.
Sauté the escarole for a few minutes, until the leaves are tender. Avoid overcooking the escarole because it can develop a slimy texture when cooked for too long. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the pork chops alongside the escarole and your favorite root veggie, like roasted delicata squash.
Nutritional Information (1/4 of recipe):
Fat: 22 g
Total Carbs: 2 g
Net Carbs: 1 g
Protein: 20 g