Pork Chops with Honey Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

I’ve wanted to experiment a bit more with cranberries since these tart little fruits are too good to relegate solely to Thanksgiving dinner, never to be seen again until next year. I’ve gotten a lot of suspicious reactions to all of my cranberry endeavors thus far (since its not traditional cranberry sauce), but the versatility of these berries continues to impress me. So today, I wanted to see how they’d fare with a bit of a stronger, South-western style kick to them by making a honey chipotle cranberry sauce to go with some pork chops.

The sauce itself was surprisingly potent: tart, dark, acidic, spicy (in both heat and flavor), sweet, and smoky. Simply put, the sauce was tasty, a fun change, and a very zesty use of cranberries. It kind of reminded me of a mojo-meets-spicy cranberry sauce, if that does anything for you. Now if you were to eat the sauce all alone though, it would be a little unbalanced, as you definitely need something rich for it to cut through (and to temper the acidity a bit). This is where a nice, juicy, just-the-right-amount-of-fat pork chop, pan fried in butter, comes in to save the day. It might be crisp, chilly, and sleepy outside right now, but this dish will warm you and wake you right up.

  • 4 pork chops
  • Spice rub
    • cinnamon
    • cumin
    • coriander
    • cayenne
    • cloves
    • salt
    • pepper
  • Sauce
    • 1-1.25 cup cranberries
    • 3 chipotles in adobo
    • 1 shallot
    • 5 cloves garlic
    • 2 lime juice
    • 1/4 cup orange juice
    • 1-2 tbsp honey
    • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
    • dried oregano
    • salt
    • pepper

Begin by getting the sauce cooking. Sauté the finely minced shallots for 5 minutes before adding the finely minced garlic and chipotles for another minute. Deglaze the pan with orange and lime juice.

Get the sauce boiling again and add the cranberries, honey, oregano, and season to taste. Leave this over medium heat.

While you wait on the sauce, prepare the pork chops however suits your fancy. I chose to rub them with a mix of spices before pan frying them in butter and olive oil until cooked through (figure 10-15 minutes).

Smoosh the sauce up a bit as the berries should have popped and softened. Add in the chopped cilantro leaves, stir well, and kill the heat.

Once the chops are done cooking, plate the pork, top with a bit of sauce, and serve with a mellow, even creamy side. I served with a mix of sautéed butternut squash and pinto beans. Enjoy!

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32 Responses to “Pork Chops with Honey Chipotle Cranberry Sauce”

  1. heather Says:

    wow! i love the idea of combining chipotle and cranberry. what a great sounding taste :) you’re so creative :)

  2. Alexa Says:

    I am not into pork but that sauce has my attention. I bet it would be great on chicken. It looks beautiful. Thanks, as always Mike, for the great recipe!

  3. Bellini Valli Says:

    I am loving the “kick” here Mike:D

  4. Joan Nova Says:

    You’ve really got your southwest mojo going.

  5. Lynn Says:

    That’s a popping flavor combination you came up with!

  6. Jennifer Says:

    What a great idea! The combination of flavors sounds amazing.

  7. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    I’m not a pork person, but I’m definitely going to try this sauce on something — it looks amazing! Maybe chicken or salmon.

  8. We Are Never Full Says:

    i am loving all these leftover recipes! this one is a TOTAL winner. really creative – chipotle and cranberry, huh? i’m now conjuring up many ideas w/ that interesting combo!

  9. grace Says:

    here you go again with the awesome sauces! as i’ve said before, chipotle is a magic word for me, and although apples usually get paired with pork in my kitchen, i happen to enjoy cranberries with it as well. my verdict: win. :)

  10. Ben Says:

    That sounds like a very interesting sauce. Very creative that would give a bland piece of pork a lot of flavor :)

  11. Paula Says:

    Love the flavor combo! This sauce sounds really great for pork or chicken!

  12. Peter Says:

    Mike, great combo in chipotle and cranberry! You’ve certainly injected flavour into these chops!

  13. nina Says:

    Oooo, Mike you have a winner here my friend! That sauce is something else!!!!!

  14. the caked crusader Says:

    wow – love the colours! It’s such a vibrant plate of food – how could anybody resist it?

  15. Sam Says:

    Wow, looks really tasty and a nice alternative to the normal apple sauce.

  16. Sandie Says:

    This sauce covers all the bases, doesn’t it—sweet, spicy and tart! I don’t cook pork all that often, but I’d definitely try this on chicken. Love the color too…for some reason it’s much darker than what I would have imagined.

  17. pam Says:

    I am a big time pork person, and this sounds wonderful. I love the crispy fat on the outside edge!

  18. Susan from Food Blogga Says:

    I could go crazy with this sauce, Mike. I’d love it with chips, on crostini, and even of veggies. Superb!

  19. foodphotoblog.com Says:

    Chipotle and cranberries good combination. I would have never thought of it but makes sense . Gotta try, Niche photography BTW

  20. joanne at frutto della passione Says:

    I have to use red currants because cranberries are simply not available here, but the results are quite good (and you’d be surprised at how many people don’t notice). I love the combination here Mike, great idea! Of course I would have to use a nice pepperoncino from Calabria because (of course) chipotles don’t make it over here!!

  21. mikky Says:

    what a great way to use cranberries, and with pork chops too… too bad we don’t have fresh cranberries here in this part, i probably have to settle with canned ones… thanks for sharing this… :)

  22. Notable Cooking Schools Says:

    I think in the place of pork, We can use the turkey .

    The recipe looks awesome.

    Thanks for positng

  23. Ivy Says:

    Oh man, that pork chop looks pretty delectable. I like all the spices you used for the rub. Pity we can’t get any cranberries!

  24. Bunny Says:

    I love this,I think it would be great with chicken too. But the pork chops, Mike they look fantastic with the cranberry sauce!

  25. Sara Says:

    This looks great, I bet chipotle and cranberry go really well together.

  26. Laurie Says:

    Sweet and spicy.. it must taste wonderful, it sure looks good!

  27. Nicisme Says:

    That sauce looks awesome, what a great combo!

  28. Kevin Says:

    I really like the sound of the chipotle cranberry combo.

  29. [eatingclub] vancouver || js Says:

    The dish looks awesome! Pork chops fried in butter? The honey chipotle cranberry sauce would be dynamite on those. Great stuff!

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