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From Farm to Oven


"From Farm to Oven," starts with a visit to Wood Stone Craft Pizza in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to talk with owner and chef Jerrmy Gawthrop. He cooks up a pork chop and belly with braised kale and butternut squash puree with goat cheese that highlights seven different local ingredients. Brooks sits down with Clayton Suttle, Wood Stone Craft Pizza co-owner, to learn more about the business and the farm-to-table movement in Northwest Arkansas.

Brined Pork Chops

30 mins
Serves 6

  • 5 pounds bone-in pork chops
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups salt
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 5 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seed
  • ¼ generous teaspoon coriander
  • 1 ½ scant teaspoons black peppercorns

Boil all ingredients, except pork chops, in a large stock pot for several minutes to make the brine. Then, pour the brine over ice to chill.

Brined Pork Chops

Once the brine has chilled, add the chops to the brine and store in the refrigerator to brine for 16 hours.

After the pork chops have finished brining, place a large cast iron skillet on high heat and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove pork chops from the mixture and discard the brine.

Sear pork chops in the scorching cast iron pan for roughly 1-2 minutes on each side.

Then, finish the chops in the oven, baking for 8 minutes.

Serve with Pickled Apples, Braised Kale and Pork Belly, and Butternut Squash Puree With Fromage Blanc.

Pickled Apples

15 mins
Serves 6

  • 1 ½ cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3 apples, thinly sliced

Combine first four ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.

Remove the pickling liquid from heat and add ice to cool.

Cook With Brooks Pickled Apples Ingredients

Once the brine is cool, slice apples — a mandolin is a big help if you have one available — and add them to the brine.

allow apples to brine for approximately 1 hour. Serve over Brined Pork Chops with Braised Kale and Pork Belly and Butternut Squash Puree With Fromage Blanc.

Braised Kale and Pork Belly

20 mins
Serves 6

  • 1 cup slab bacon or pork belly
  • 2 quarts kale leaves
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a cast iron skillet until smoking hot. Cut your slab bacon or pork belly into 1-inch strips and place the chunks into the skillet. Sear the pork until almost crispy and fat has released into the pan.

Cook With Brooks: Braised Kale and Pork Belly

Rinse kale and rip into medium pieces. Add directly into the skillet.

After kale has cooked for a couple of minutes, deglaze the pan with apple cider vinegar. Toss and turn kale often to cover in bacon grease.

Remove from heat once kale is cooked and dark green. Drizzle with maple syrup season to taste salt pepper.

This side is delicious with any meal, but especially so when served with our Brined Pork Chops, Pickled Apples, and Butternut Squash Puree With Fromage Blanc.

Butternut Squash Puree With Fromage Blanc

25 mins
Serves 6

  • 6 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ cup fromage blanc

Cut butternut squash into 1-inch cubes, and boil or roast until soft.

After squash is cool enough to handle, place in blender or in a large bowl or saucepan and use an immersion blender. Add butter and salt, and blend until smooth.

Finally, whisk in fromage blanc just before serving.

Cook With Brooks: Butternut Squash Puree With Fromage Blanc

This seasonal side makes an excellent accompaniment for virtually any recipe, but we especially enjoy it with Brined Pork Chops, Pickled Apples, and Braised Kale and Pork Belly. Want to give this recipe a twist when butternut squash is out of season? Try substituting sweet potatoes instead!