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Monday, November 4, 2013

Braised Pork Chops with Apples and Hard Cider

Here we are into November already.  The temperatures are starting to drop and even here in sunny Florida, it's finally beginning to feel like fall.  After a very long, hot summer, I'm ready for some hearty fall recipes.  And what better way to begin than with a German-style favorite.

The good people over at Angry Orchard were kind enough to send us a few of their tasty ciders to sample, and this recipe was a great place to start.  For this classic dish of Braised Pork Chops with Apples and Onions, we decided to add a little twist and include a bottle of Angry Orchard Green Apple Hard Cider.

The cider added the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness to compliment the apples and onions.   The only thing that could make this better would be mashed sweet potatoes, which created a colorful, and nutritious, base for the pork chops.  The potatoes were simple, with just butter and a little salt and pepper for seasoning, but they added just the right amount of richness to the meal.

6  Boneless Pork Chops, cut 1-inch thick, fat trimmed off
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper
1 TB  Olive Oil
4 TB  Salted Butter, divided
1 medium  Yellow Onion, sliced
2 large  Granny Smith Apples, cored and sliced
1 bottle  Angry Orchard Green Apple Hard Cider

Season both sides of the pork chops with a generous coating of salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.  When the oil shimmers, add the pork chops to the skillet and cook for 6 minutes, turn the chops over and cook 6 minutes longer.  (In order to get a really good sear on the chops, try not to move them during the cooking process.)  Transfer the chops to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the same pan, add the apples and onions and sauté over medium heat until slightly softened, about 6 minutes.  Add the hard cider to the pan, stir the mixture gently and simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer the pork chops and any accumulated juices back to the skillet, nestling the chops down into the apples and onions.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the chops are cooked through.  (We cooked our chops to 145-150 degrees on a meat thermometer, which is medium-rare.  As the pork stands for a few minutes the temperature will increase slightly, but the chops will still be moist and juicy inside.)

Transfer the chops to a serving platter and cover with foil.  To complete the apple/onion sauce, increase the heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon butter.  Stir the sauce until the butter is melted and the sauce has reached the desired thickness.  Taste test and add salt and pepper, if desired. 

To serve, place a layer of sweet potatoes on each plate, place a pork chop on top of the potatoes, then add a generous scoop of apples, onions and sauce on top. (Don't forget the sauce!  It's fantastic on the sweet potatoes.)  Enjoy!!

Since my photographer was so anxious to dive into his dinner, we forgot to include the bottle of cider in our picture.  So this is the end result, empty plate and all! lol

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe would be good for my readers.  All opinions are mine.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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