When the weather turns just a little cool in the early Autumn, I like to cook and bake with apples. After all that is harvest time and that's when apples are at their tastiest. (My personal opinion.) It's also when we used to go apple picking in Ohio. The combination of pork with apples has been around for a long time. I remember when my mom made pork chops we always had apple sauce as a condiment. This dish has a more complex flavor because of the sauce. I hope you enjoy the mix of flavors.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 bone-in pork chops (about 1 inch thick)
1 t coarse salt
1 t sugar
1 Gala Apples, peeled and chopped
1 small Shallots, thinly sliced
1 strips of thick cut Bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 c Calvados (or apple brandy)
3/4 c Apple Cider
1/2 c Chicken Broth
1 T unsalted butter
1/4 t Fresh Thyme, minced
Brine the pork chops and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Choose a medium sauce pan for this. Heat the pan over medium heat add the bacon and allow the fat to render. Once this is done, add the shallots and chopped apples. Saute until the shallots are softened but not browned. Remove the pan from the burner and add the Calvados. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a vigorous boil over medium high, add the cider, chicken broth, thyme and the butter. Stir vigorously to break up the butter. Continue to allow the sauce to boil gently and reduce until it is about 1 cup. Turn the sauce off and cover loosely with a lid.
Use an oven safe pan large enough to hold the pork chops without crowding. There is no need to salt the chops since they were in a brine. Heat the pan to med high, add a little oil (1-2 T), add the pork chops and let them cook on one side for about 4 -5 minutes. Once that side is nice and brown, turn the chops over and cook the other side. Remove the pan and finish the chops in the oven. Bake about 10 minutes. Check the internal temperature is 145. Remove from the oven and tent loosely with foil for 10 minutes before serving. (The internal temperature will rise about another 10 degrees.)
Plate these on top of a little of the sauce and then pass the rest at the table.
While the chops are resting you can serve the salad or soup course.