Pork and apples yield sweet, savory results

CHICAGO TRIBUNEJanuary 8, 2014 

BILL HOGAN — MCT

Pork chops and apple sauce are a familiar flavor combination, perhaps from our childhoods.

I paired pork and apples for dinner recently.

But instead of cooking the fruit down into applesauce, I did a quicker version, merely sauteed apples. Pumping up their flavor and creating a sauce with cider seemed like a good idea. Into that, a little applejack, the American apple brandy, for a triple apple effect.

Now that I think of it, a double pork effect would work here. You could crisp up some bacon to start, then …

Tip: Serve with butternut or acorn squash puree, topped with a little butter, and a winter greens salad.

PORK CHOPS AND TRIPLE APPLE THREAT

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25 minutes Makes: 2 servings

2 pork chops (on the bone), 6 to 8 ounces each

1/2 teaspoon salt, about

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat

1 small red onion, chopped

2 large tart apples, peeled, cored, sliced about 1/2-inch thick

3/4 cup apple cider

1/4 cup applejack or apple brandy

3 tablespoons whipping cream

Season the chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Heat the fat in a skillet over medium-high heat; add the chops. Cook, turning once, to brown both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate; keep warm.

Add the onion; cook, sprinkled with a little salt, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the apples, coating them with the fat and onions; cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 3 minutes. They should be cooked through but retain their shape.

Stir in the apple cider and applejack; return chops to skillet.

Lower heat to medium; cook at a simmer until chops are cooked through. Transfer chops and apples to dinner plates, leaving sauce in the skillet. Add cream to skillet; cook at a simmer until slightly reduced, 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chops and apples.

Nutrition per serving: 575 calories, 35 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 103 mg cholesterol, 43 g carbohydrates, 24 g protein, 670 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

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