Wednesday Dinner: Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

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For two weeks I’ve been trying to make this for dinner. Two weeks. The first time it got shelved…I’m not sure what the reason was. It was two weeks ago, you know? Last week, it was on tap on the day I got into the car accident (side note: the insurance company totaled it), so it got shelved for takeout.

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Finally, it made its way to the table tonight. Of course, I forgot to take the pork chops out of the freezer to defrost today. Because, why not? After about 10 minutes on my microwave’s defrost cycle, I was able to work with thawed meat. It’s a rather easy recipe to put together, as most of the time is spent waiting. Waiting for meat to brown. Waiting for apples and onions to soften. Waiting for the meat to cook in the liquid. Waiting.

2013-11-20 at 17-31-07WHAT WORKED: Bone-in pork chops. Whenever I use boneless, the meat shrinks like a wool sweater. Here, the meat held its size and proved to be very moist.

WHAT DIDN’T: Lager. The recipe prompts for beer, white wine, cider or broth. I’ve used a lot of the latter recently and didn’t have cider. I figured a bottle of lager would work here. It was…okay. Maybe a wheat beer or a dry hard cider like Strongbow would work better.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: She thought it was good, so, yeah for me.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Yes, though I would probably use a different liquid and maybe a tarter apple than Jonagold.

2013-11-20 at 17-26-19Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

  • 6 bone-in pork chops (loin or shoulder), cut 3/4 inch thick
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 2 to 3 apples, cored and sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup beer, white wine, cider, or chicken broth

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Trim the chops of excess fat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a 14-inch cast-iron skillet (if you have a smaller one, you’ll need to work in batches) over high heat, and then swirl in the olive oil. Lay in the pork chops and don’t move them for a few minutes, to assure a good golden sear forms. Turn and brown well on the second side for a total of about 10 minutes. Transfer the chops to a warm plate.

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Swirl the butter into the pan. Add the onion and apples. Saute until the onion slices are lightly caramelized and the apples have begun to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the beer or other liquid. Return chops to the pan.

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Cook until the pork is tender, about 15 more minutes (depending on the size of the chops), turning halfway through and covering the chops with the apple mixture. If the apple mixture needs a little thickening, transfer the chops to the warm plate again and simmer the mixture on high for a few minutes to reduce. Serve the chops over rice or mashed potatoes with a large spoonful of the apple-onion mixture over the top.

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