Pork Chops with Golden Applesauce

When I had my baby one of my good friends brought over dinner a few days after we returned home from the hospital. I wasn't expecting much - not because I thought she didn't know how to cook - but because most of the meals we had received that week were pretty standard. You know . . . typical crockpot fare or store-bought meals. So, when I tasted Stephanie's apple pork chops with garlic mashed red potatoes and a delicious green salad with sugared pecans I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
A few weeks later, I was still thinking about that meal and wondered, "Was it really that good or was I just starved for a decent meal?" When I saw her at church today I asked her to send me the recipe. She obliged. I made it. And it was still really good. Way good.
And yes, we serve very American sized portions around here.
4 apples (I used Gala), peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 ounces golden raisins (eye ball it - sidenote: I don't typically love cooked raisins and if you're the same, give this a shot anyway. The cook so long and tender that they almost become part of the sauce and give it a perfect sweetness.)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and whole
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 cups apple juice or apple cider, plus a splash more for deglazing pan
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 (1 inch thick) center cut boneless pork loin chops, 6 - 8 ounces each
2 Tablespoons butter
Combine first eight ingredients in a medium saute pan over medium high heat and cook until a chunky sauce forms, 10 - 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sauce begins to spatter as it bubbles, reduce heat back a little but it should be allowed to reduce and form quickly. Once apples are soft and the sauce forms, remove from the heat.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil to the pan. Season pork chops on one side with salt and pepper. Using a pair of tongs, add chops to the hot skillet seasoned side down. Season the opposite side of the chops with salt and pepper. Brown and caramelize the chops 2 minutes on each side, then reduce heat to medium and cook another 5 - 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until juices run clear (sidenote: my chops were quite thick so I actually butterflied them after getting a nice crust on both sides first). Remove chops from heat and let them rest a couple of minutes to let the juices redistribute. Deglaze the pan with a splash of apple juice and 2 Tablespoons of butter. Let cook down a little and pour pan sauce over the chops. Remove ginger from the sauce and top the chops with a generous portion of the warmed apple sauce.
P.S. I served this with broccoli which I broiled in the oven at 400 degrees coated in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper until tender. Then I grated on some Gruyere cheese and let broil just a minute more until melted.


whitneyingram said...

Well welcome back! I am sure it not only feels good to be back in the kitchen, but also to have 2 months under your belt with your newborn.

Natalie said...

had this for dinner last night - and thats one of my new favorite ways to cook broccoli! thanks :)

Julie said...

Liz, I'm so excited about your new recipes! I can never justify cooking like this when its just for myself, but now that I am dating someone (yes, we need to catch up)its got me all excited to be in the kitchen again Ü And I need recipes that will be easy but still WOW. So, I will be checking this blog for good ideas!

Love ya girl, and that little boy is so so cute. He's absolutely perfect, and I bet you are having so much fun being a mom. We'll have to chat sometime soon Ü

Cat Zimmer said...

Hi Lizzy, I am loving that you are back cooking and posting! I really want to try these, could I use powdered ginger instead of the root? And by the way, could William get any cuter?

Mindika said...

Hey Elizabeth,
I've been following your blog for awhile now, but just found out that we have a friend in common. My good friend Iliana said that she used to date your brother. Small world! Anyway, you have great recipes. I tried this one tonight and loved it!! On fridays I do "Friday Favorites" over on my blog http://mindikamoments.blogspot.com, and I'd love to feature you along with this recipe. Let me know if that would be ok with you.

Thanks, Mindi

P.S. Congrats on the new baby and Iliana say's hi!