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Apple-Roasted Pork Chops with Roast Applesauce

Apple-Roasted Pork Chops with Roast Applesauce
Apple cider tenderizes the meat, while the thyme, garlic and onion add flavor. Serve these pork chops with fried potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 6 loin pork chops, each 7 to 8 oz. and 1 inch
     thick, trimmed of fat and edges scored

For the marinade:

  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tart green apples
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 generous cup dried apples
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup Calvados or other dry apple brandy

For the roast applesauce:

  • 8 to 10 tart apples, half green and half red,
     quartered
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

To marinate the pork chops, place the chops in a large, heavy-duty sealable plastic bag or a large nonreactive dish. Add the apple cider, olive oil, onion, thyme, garlic and peppercorns to the bag or dish. Press out the air and seal the bag securely, or cover the dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Remove the chops from the marinade, pat dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Discard the marinade. Peel, core and slice the fresh apples.

In a large sauté pan over high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. When the foam subsides, add the chops and sear, turning once, until browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, scatter the fresh and dried apples and onion slices in a baking dish large enough to hold the chops in a single layer. Set the browned chops on top of the apple and onion, pour the apple cider around the chops and cover the dish.

To make the applesauce, in a large baking dish with a lid, combine the apples, water and salt. Place both baking dishes in the oven.

Roast for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and cover the baking dish holding the applesauce. Continue to cook the chops until nearly tender, about 25 minutes more. Uncover and baste with the Calvados. Continue to roast until the juices run clear and the chops are tender, about 10 minutes more. At the same time, cook the apples, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 30 minutes more.

Remove from the oven. Working in batches, pass the roasted apple quarters through a food mill placed over a bowl; discard the skins and seeds. (Alternatively, puree in a food processor, then pass the puree through a sieve into a bowl. Press with a spatula to push as much applesauce through as possible.) Sweeten the applesauce with the sugar. You should have about 4 cups. Transfer the sauce to a warmed bowl and sprinkle the cinnamon on top.

Serve the pork chops directly from the dish. Pass the applesauce alongside.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Everyday Roasting, by Janeen Sarlin (Time-Life Books, 1998).