Cider-Braised Pork Chops with Apples
Although Fuji apples are a good choice here, you can use any crisp, slightly tart apple that’s available at the market. Braising the spice-coated pork chops in cider enhances the autumnal flavor.
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
- 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 thin boneless center-cut pork loin chops, about 1 lb. (500 g) total
- 4 tsp. canola oil
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) apple cider
- 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 Fuji apple, peeled, halved, cored and cut into 8 wedges
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) chicken broth
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) evaporated milk
In a small bowl, stir together the oregano, five-spice powder, paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Coat the pork chops evenly on both sides with the spice mixture. Set the meat on a plate and let stand for 10 minutes.
In a large, deep fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tsp. of the oil. Add the onion and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 2 tsp. oil to the pan and return it to medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and sear until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and brown on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the plate holding the onion.
Place the pan over medium heat and pour in the cider and vinegar. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Return the pork and onion to the pan and arrange the apple wedges on top of the pork. Pour in the broth, cover and simmer until the chops are opaque throughout, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat if the liquid begins to boil.
Transfer the chops, apple wedges and onion to a platter. Pour the milk into the pan, raise the heat to high and boil until the liquid is reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chops and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012)