The sweet and slightly bitter flavor of dark beer makes for a rich, full-flavored sauce for this pork chop dinner. Served with a delicious braise of cabbage, bacon and beans this is a great way to enjoy a hearty and comforting weeknight dinner.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until the fat renders and the bacon is crisp, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat into a small bowl and reserve. Add the onion and thyme sprigs to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and 3/4 cup chicken broth and cook until the beans are tender and most of the broth evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook until wilted. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Rub the pork chops with salt, pepper and the chopped thyme, then coat with the flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat in a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Add the beer and remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth to the skillet and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan; bring to a simmer. Return the pork to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium low and loosely cover. Cook until the pork is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pork to a plate and let rest.
Continue cooking the braising liquid until reduced and thickened, about 6 minutes; swirl in the butter. Divide the bean-cabbage mixture among plates. Slice the pork and add to the plates. Top with the pan sauce, bacon and another pinch of red pepper flakes.
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Photograph by Andrew Purcell
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