Friday, October 15, 2010

Cider-Braised Pork Chops with Apples

Now that October is finally here, my house is full of pumpkins, apples and apple cider. Apple cider is one thing I missed as a child. I never liked it much but now I absolutely love it; especially warm apple cider on a crisp, chilly and snowy night. If you live in a cold-weather state, you know exactly what I'm talking about! Hot cocoa and apple cider help us get through the snow shoveling and black ice days. Well if you have onion and pork chops, then you've got an amazing dinner!

This is the third time I've made these chops and they are absolutely amazing and get rave reviews each time. I actually might just use the sauce and soak a bunch of apples in them because it was that good. The onions bring a lot to the flavor of the meal so don't omit them or anything else. Now I normally don't like pork chops (I'm a chicken kind of gal, myself), but in this sauce and with these toppings it's amazingly delicious! Try it and you won't be disappointed, especially since you will be using up all that cider you've stocked up on.

Cider-Braised Pork Chops with Apples
Serves: 3-4

1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp allspice (any brand will do)
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
4 thin, boneless pork chops (1 lb)
4 tsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sweet apple cider (3 oz)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 fuji apple, peeled, cored and sliced into 12 wedges
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup evaporated milk

To make the spice rub, in a small bowl, mix together: oregano, allspice, paprika, salt and pepper. Coat the uncooked pork chops evenly on both sides with the rub mixture. Set meat on a plate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp of oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until lightly browned, 4-5 minutes. Transfer onion to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil into the skillet and keep on medium to medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and sear until lightly browned on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and brown the meat on the other side, 3-4 minutes. Transfer meat to plate with the onion.

Return the pan to medium heat and pour in the cider and vinegar. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the meat and onion to the pan and place the apple wedges on top of the meat. Pour in the chicken broth, cover, and simmer until the chops are opaque throughout, about 8-10 minutes. Reduce the heat if the liquid begins to boil.

Transfer the chops, apple wedges and onion (strained) to a warmed platter. Pour the evaporated milk into the pan, raise heat to high, and boil until the liquid is reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Pour that sauce on top of the pork chops and serve warm.

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