Food Network Magazine had a recipe this month for pork chops with apples and onions, one of my favorite dishes. I realized reading it that I hadn’t made the sweet and savory dish in several years and set out to rectify that. The magazine’s recipe is a very basic method of making this classic dish, but I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it better. First, though, a word about pork chops. Mostly what you find in the store these days are loin chops, either thick cut for braising or grilling or thinly sliced for frying. There’s nothing wrong with these cuts, but I find them to be a bit bland. My favorite chop is an on-the-bone rib chop, because I think these chops simply have more flavor – mostly because they are a little higher in fat content than a loin chop. Either cut will work here.
Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
- 4 Rib Chops, on the bone
- 2 Granny Smith Apples, cut into 1/2″ pieces (leave skin on)
- 1 Sweet Yellow Onion, in slices or diced
- 1/2 cup Apple Juice (make sure it is 100% juice, not sugar water)
- 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
- Sage, Thyme, Salt, and Pepper
- 4 tsp Bacon Grease
- 2 tsp Canola Oil
Pre-season your chops with some of the salt, pepper, sage and thyme. Heat 2 teaspoons of the bacon grease and one teaspoon of the canola oil in a cast iron skillet until shimmering and almost ready to smoke. Sear your chops until they are golden brown on each side; depending on the thickness of your chop this will take 5-8 minutes usually.
When chops are brown, remove them to a platter and add the rest of your bacon grease and oil to the pan and toss in your apples and onions, stirring frequently and frying until they begin to brown. Be careful with your heat here, because the high sugar content of the apples puts them at risk of burning. When the apples and onions begin to brown, pour in your chicken stock and apple juice and add salt and pepper to taste. Be aware that you’ll be reducing this liquid somewhat, so have a care not to over salt. Put the chops back into the pan with the liquid, onions, and apples and reduce heat to medium. Cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the chops are cooked through and the liquid has reduced by about half (or a little more if you like a strong sauce). Serve with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, and enjoy!