I am a huge fan of balling out on date night, so when we have ours we usually try to do something like scallops, lobster, shrimp, steak, or something super exotic (I want to try duck next!). However, we all have those months where money is tight and there isn't much room for culinary frivolity, so in those times we fall back on a great staple: pork. It's a versatile meat that has tons of great cuts from ribs to chops to loin and can be prepared in a variety of ways with any number of great wines to go with it.
This version of a pork chop has a beautiful deep sear that gives it great depth and makes it befriend lighter more tannic red wines with heavy bodies. I love this meal with a good Pinot Noir, with my personal preference being near Monterey, Ca or really anywhere in Oregon (they know how to make a good Pinot!). The reduction is just enough sauce to save the pork from drying out even if you overcook it and is a stellar accompaniment with a fresh glass of red.
Start by trimming any remaining fat off the pork loins and pre-heating the oven to 400 (just in case, you'll see later). This provides a leaner cut of meat for grilling but if you want, instead of grilling it, you can render out that fat in the pan and sear the pork chops in its own fat using a hot skillet. This is a pretty pro move and is done in most high end kitchens, but we like to keep it healthy and the pork carries enough flavor on its own that we can skip out on the fat.
Once trimmed, get your grill or griddle grate searing hot. Rub the pork in salt and pepper coating all the way around. Lay each chop on the grill at a slight angle and wait for 1 minute, then rotate about 90 degrees to let those sear marks create a nice cross hatch. Super pro move here, and it can translate to chicken or steaks as well. Flip the pork chops after a minute and repeat the steps on the opposite side.
If you like your pork chops rare to medium rare, then you might be able to call it quits and set these aside to slightly cook through with their residual heat (depending on how thick). If not, just toss them in the oven at 400 for 3-4 minutes on each side flipping half way through.
While those finish up, add your red wine to a hot skillet and let reduce by at least half. Add in the mushrooms to soak up the remaining wine and toss in the garlic as well. I apologize in advance for only recommending you make 3 cups of this insanely good sauce, but we struggle to get rid of so much good wine in the use of sauce when it has every right to be drank instead ;)
Lay down a few spoonfuls of sauce on each plate and plate the pork chops on top. If you want, add a few Daikon Radish Sprouts to the plate for color and texture and you are all set! Have a sip of that pinot and then dig in to this great dish!