Behind the Scenes w/ Chef Madison Cowan & Nat’l Pork Board :: Recipes, Photos & Videos

Chef Madison Cowan
Chef Madison Cowan
Chef Madison Cowan

Last week I had an amazing opportunity to meet Chef Madison CowanIron Chef America Winner,  Chopped! Grand Champion, Extreme Chef Judge on Food network and star in the new television show, No Kitchen Required at a live taping of his media satellite tour with the National Pork Board here in NYC.

Chef Madison Cowan on Set
Chef Madison Cowan on Set

To help home cooks unleash the limitless power of the pork chop, America’s pork producers have enlisted a pro who knows a thing or two about chops. Because this worldly chef is known for blending diverse inspirations from around the globe and the pork chop is one of his favorite go-to meats to cook, the Pork Board asked Chef Madison Cowan to create some fresh global-inspired pork recipes and talk about them with a live demo for a national satellite media tour that was broadcasted on television and radio stations around the country last week (see video clip below to get a behind the scenes glimpse of the live interview).

Chef's Pork Creations
Chef's Pork Creations

The three most popular types of pork are bone-in rib chops, top loin chops, and blade chops but not all consumers are aware of all the great choices they have when it comes to cooking with pork. To educate and inspire home cooks, the Pork board asked Chef Madison to create some fresh and global inspired recipes with new ways to cook pork chops other than the basic frying and baking techniques.

Chef Madison & Kristen Hess
Chef Madison & Kristen Hess

During the taping, Chef Madison demos his amazing pork recipes, talks about his London, Detroit and Jamaican heritage, his step-mother’s influence on his cooking and his passion and love for food, family and his culinary career. His pork dishes were absolutely gorgeous and tantalizing and colorful!

Amazing Pork Chop Creations
Amazing Pork Chop Creations

The three main recipes that Chef Madison made on set were Grilled Pork Chops with Manchego Cheese, Chorizo and Date stuffing, Chinese 5-Spice and Maple-Glazed Pork Loin Chops and Moroccan-Inspired Country Style Rib Ragu with Couscous Cakes. (See full recipes below).

Chef Madison Cowan
Chef Madison Cowan

We had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Chef for an intimate talk about his background and cooking philosophy and he told us about his first cook book “Soul Voyage” which chronicles his philosophy of cooking from the heart as well as his favourite soul food recipes. Chef Madison is truly a talented individual and everything he does is from the heart. He is a true inspiration to me and hopefully all home cooks out there by his pure passion and dedication to his craft.

Check out the video above of Chef Madison Cowan on set taping the live satellite media tour as he discusses the recipes he is making, his inspiration and background for his cooking and culinary career. (Note: the taping is one sided so you’ll only hear the Chef’s answers to the live interview questions he is being asked by the media!)

And to top off all the great photos and videos from the event, Chef Madison has shared his three Pork recipes he made on the tour, which are included for you below. Enjoy!


Moroccan-Inspired Country-Style Rib Ragu with Couscous Cakes

Moroccan-Inspired Country-Style Rib Ragu with Couscous Cakes
Moroccan-Inspired Country-Style Rib Ragu with Couscous Cakes (photo credit: National Pork Board)

For this pork and beans dish, I’m inspired by the Berber classic from North Africa, named for the earthenware pot traditionally used for simmering lamb or chicken stew. Tagine also refers to the stew itself. Here Moroccan spicing brings out the best in boneless blade chops, which are from the loin nearest the shoulder. These thick chops are well marbled, full-flavored, and often called “Boneless Pork Loin Country-Style Ribs.”

  • 2 pounds boneless blade chops (pork loin country-style ribs), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish or Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced and washed well
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 (3-inch) sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chile flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint

Couscous Cakes

  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped chives
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

For the pork chops: Put pork cubes in a large bowl and toss with oil. Mix paprika, coriander, turmeric, salt, pepper, ginger, and cumin, Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over pork and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 3 hours. Reserve remaining spice mixture.

To make the tagine: Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. .In batches, add pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate.

Add more oil to the skillet if needed. Add leeks, carrots, cinnamon, thyme, chili flakes and bay leaves to the skillet and sauté together about 4 minutes, adding more by the tablespoon, if needed. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining spices and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in tomatoes with their juices, broth, and tomato paste and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large sauce pan. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices thicken and vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in chickpeas. Bury the pork in the sauce and cover. Simmer until the pork is just tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the couscous cakes: Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the couscous, almonds, currants, chives, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and stir well. Remove from heat and cover tightly for 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in yolks. Press couscous mixture into six 3-inch-wide cakes. Transfer to a plate and let stand 5 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry cakes, turning once, until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs and transfer tagine to a serving dish. Sprinkle cilantro and mint on top and serve hot, with couscous cakes.

Makes 6 servings.


Grilled Pork Chops with Chorizo, Dates and Manchego Stuffing

Grilled Pork Chops with Chorizo, Dates and Manchego Stuffing
Grilled Pork Chops with Chorizo, Dates and Manchego Stuffing (photo credit: National Pork Board)

In the U.S., stuffed pork chops usually have a breadcrumb filling. This Spanish treatment calls for a unique and flavorful stuffing of spicy chorizo, sweet dates, and Manchego cheese, a sharp cheese from the La Mancha region of Spain. Alternatively use local, affordable cheddar if Manchego is unavailable.

  • 6 double-thick bone-in rib chops, about 12 ounces each
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • ½ gallon iced water

Chorizo Stuffing

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound smoked Spanish chorizo, diced
  • 2 medium celery, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup pitted and finely chopped dates
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Manchego or sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To brine pork chops:  Bring vinegar, brown sugar, salt, mustard, and peppercorns to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve salt.  Do not inhale fumes.  Transfer to large, deep food-safe container.  Let cool until tepid.  Stir in iced water.  Submerge chops in brine.  Refrigerate for 3 hours, no longer.

To make stuffing: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add celery, dates, and shallot, and cook, stirring often, until celery is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, sage, and paprika. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.  Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Remove chops from brine, rinse under cold water, and blot dry with paper towels. Cut a horizontal pocket in each chop to the bone using a sharp knife. Spoon equal amounts of stuffing into each chop, and close each opening shut with wooden toothpicks. Do not overstuff the chops; you may not use all of the filling.

Prepare a medium fire in an outdoor grill. (For a gas grill, preheat to about 400ºF. For a charcoal grill, let the coals burn until covered with white ash and you can hold your hand about an inch above the cooking grate for 3 seconds.) Brush cooking grates clean. Grill pork, with the lid closed as much as possible, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of a chop reads 145ºF, about 15 minutes. Remove from the grill and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove toothpicks and serve.

Makes 6 servings.


Chinese Five-Spice-and-Maple-Glazed Pork Loin Chops

Chinese Five-Spice-and-Maple Glazed Pork Loin Chops
Chinese Five-Spice-and-Maple Glazed Pork Loin Chops (photo credit: National Pork Board)

For this dish I marinate lean and versatile boneless top loin pork chops (also known as “America’s Cut”) in five-spice and finish it in a tangy and smooth maple glaze. This dish pairs well with my Asian Pear and Cucumber Slaw. The Asian pear, native to China, Japan and Korea, has a sweet flavor with a crisp texture, marries well with a variety of flavors and is a quick no-cook side dish option.  A plastic V-slicer or mandoline will make quick work of cutting the Asian pears and cucumber into matchsticks.

  • 6 boneless top loin pork chops, 1 1/4–inch-thick (“America’s Cut”)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/2  stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Asian Pear and Cucumber Slaw

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chile
  • 2 Asian pears, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced into matchsticks
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal.
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts

To prepare the pork chops: Brush pork chops with the oil and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the five-spice powder evenly over pork chops.  Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before searing.

To prepare the glaze:  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add maple syrup and vinegar and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

To make the slaw: Whisk lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and chile in a medium bowl.  Add Asian pears, cucumber, scallions, and cilantro, and mix well.  Season with salt.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Add a little cooking oil to pan and heat over medium–high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, sear the pork chops until brown, about 3 to 5 minutes each side. Place the pan in the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of a chop reads 145ºF, about 10 to 12 minutes. During the last 3 minutes, reheat the maple sauce and brush both sides of the chops until well glazed.  Remove from pan from the oven and let stand for 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the slaw with peanuts and serve with a slotted spoon onto 6 dinner plates alongside each chop.

Makes 6 servings.


Every week for the next month, the National Pork Board will showcase a unique chop recipe on to keep your culinary juices flowing, including exclusive recipes from Chef Cowan.  While there, you will find a “Pork Chop Personality Guide” to help you explore a new chop cut and match it with a new recipe for every night of the week.  With the versatility of the pork chop, there is a perfect recipe and cut to suit your personality. For additional inspiration this summer, follow @AllAboutPork on Twitter, “like” them at and find them to unleash the power of the pork chop and for a chance to win pork prizes during the month of May.





This is a non-paid sponsored post by the National Pork Board with The Artful Gourmet for the promotion of Chef Madison Cowan, his recipes and the National Pork Board. All opinions, videos and photography (unless otherwise noted) are by The Artful Gourmet.

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