Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cider Braised Pork Chops with Apples


It finally feels like fall and nothing says fall to me like apples... unless it's apples and cinnamon.  When you combine that perfect pairing with pork and onions, you get a bite of heaven.

I love the merging of the sweetness from the apples and brown sugar and the savoriness of the pork and onions.  You could even mix in dried cranberries and pecans to make it extra special for company.

The preparation is pretty simple.  I got all of my ingredients ready beforehand so cooking this was a breeze.  If I prep as I go, I usually end up slightly frazzled with a big mess.

Flouring and browning your chops is important because the flour thickens the sauce and browning gives them more color.  Soggy, gray pork chops aren't all that appealing.  Also, make sure you add enough salt to balance the sweet and give you those layers of flavor.   

We had these with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots, but sweet potatoes and green beans would be wonderful too.

Recipe
Source:  Southernfood.about.com
4 to 6 boneless pork chops, about 3/4 inch thick with fat removed
1/4 tsp salt + more to taste
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 c flour
2 Tbsp light salted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
2 c coarsely chopped apple (I used fuji apples)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c apple cider or apple juice
3 Tbsp brown sugar or 1 1/2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of ground allspice
  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onions 5 minutes or until fairly translucent.  (I lightly salt the onions.)  Place onions on another plate.  Add oil to pan.
  2. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a large zip top bag.  Add pork chops and toss to coat. Brown chops in oil for about 2 minutes per side.  Add a little more oil if needed.
  3. In the meantime, combine apples, lemon juice, cider, brown sugar and spices.  
  4. Pour apple mixture and onions over chops.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer over medium-low for about 25 minutes or until chops are done.


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