Autumn is here, time to come inside for a meal that will warm your heart and soul. I like to celebrate the season with … apple cider! Try to find the unfiltered cider at the farm stand, it’s the BEST!
For the most flavorful, moist chops, be sure to allow 2 hours brining time before preparation — it will make all the difference. OR, you may want to try this with chicken breasts or thighs. MMMMmmmmm!
Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops
for brine & chops:
- 1- one gallon size resealable plastic bag
- 1 ⁄2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 ⁄3 cup kosher salt
- 1 or 2 medium garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 thick cut pork chops trimmed (about 5 ounces each)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
- 4 shallots thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 ⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon arrowroot or 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon white wine or water
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons Calvados apple brandy
- thin slices of apple for garnish
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup optional (I like Woodinville Whiskey Maple Syrup here)
Dissolve sugar and salt in 1 cup hot water. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag with the garlic and pepper, adding an additional 3 cups cold water. Place resealable bag into shallow pan. Add pork chops to the brine. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Brine chops in solution for two hours. Remove pork chops from brine, pat dry. If you choose not to cook the chops immediately after brining, remove them from the brine; pat them dry with paper towels. Refrigerate them on a wire rack, uncovered, to allow to dry for an hour, or as long as overnight This will allow the chops to form a crust, which browns beautifully!
Meanwhile, begin preparing glaze: Caramelize shallots VERY SLOWLY in olive oil with a pinch of salt, about 15 minutes. Add apple juice, 1 cup wine, half of the rosemary, thyme, oregano, hot pepper sauce, and vinegar. Over high heat, reduce to 1⁄2 cup. Make slurry by mixing arrowroot or cornstarch and the tablespoon of wine or water (see the sidebar at the right). Add to reduced sauce mixture, bring to boil, to thicken slightly, then remove from heat. Correct seasonings. Set aside. (This step may be done one day ahead.)
cooking the chops
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place in the oven to preheat, a shallow pan large enough to hold the chops in a single layer. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté chops in skillet about two minutes per side, until crust forms. Brush presentation or top side with maple syrup if desired. Transfer chops to heated pan in preheated oven, roast to internal temperature of 125-127°F.
finishing and presentation
While chops are roasting, deglaze pork chop pan by adding the glaze mixture to the drippings in the pan; heat to boil. Stir in Calvados if desired, place apple slices and remaining rosemary in glaze to just heat through. Remove chops from oven, cover with foil. Let rest until internal temperature reaches 145°F, about 5 minutes. Serve on heated plates, topped with glaze. Garnish with apple slices and fresh rosemary, if desired. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes.
This is a recipe from my award-winning cookbook:
Cooking Class: A Chef’s Step-by-step Guide to Stress-free Dinner Parties that are Simply Elegant!