Pork Chops and Apples

1 Oct

This is a great recipe discovered by a great friend.  Gina is a master at identifying potential recipes that will make a great meal.  She does all the cooking at our school and the students and staff look forward to her creations each day.  She passed this recipe along to me a year or so ago, and I’ve been making it for my family ever since.  I’ve modified it just a bit, by substituting cranberries instead of raisins.  My family is not a big fan of raisins, but we always have dried cranberries on hand.  Either one is fine.

This is a very versatile recipe in that it can be finished off in a number of ways.  You can do it all on the stove top, having it ready in a relatively short period of time, or you can start it early in the day and transfer it to a crock-pot or the oven.   When I prepared it this time, I started it early in the afternoon, then popped it in a low oven so that I could take my son to an appointment.  It was perfect by the time we returned home.

Ingredients:

4  Golden Delicious apples, chopped

2 teaspoons lemon juice

handful of golden raisins or dried cranberries (I used cranberries)

1-inch piece of ginger root

3 Tablespoons of brown sugar

2 cups apple juice or apple cider

1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 Tablespoons oil (vegetable or olive)

6 (1-inch) thick boneless center cut pork chops

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons butter

Directions:

Combine the chopped apples, apples juice, brown sugar, and spices in a sauce pan. (Notice I have to label recipe ingredients to protect them from the kids, I’ve run out of hiding places!)

Add 1 piece of peeled ginger root, and cranberries or raisins.

Cook over medium high heat until apples soften and form a chunky sauce.

It will take 10 minutes or so.  Stir occasionally to keep from sticking, and cook long enough for it to thicken up a bit.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Season chops with salt and pepper to taste,

then brown on both sides in a non-stick skillet or non-stick grill pan over high heat.

Remove from skillet when they have browned on each side.  Deglaze the pan by pouring a couple of Tablespoons of apple juice into the skillet and scraping up the browned bits, then add a couple of Tablespoons of butter and continue to stir til melted.  Add to the apple sauce for more flavor.

At this point, decide how you want to finish the recipe.  I like to finish it in the oven or crock pot because it helps make the chops more tender, and I like to be able to do a recipe ahead of time and allow it to cook while I do other things.  If you have the time, and want to do it this way, then place the chops in a greased baking dish, top with the applesauce,

and bake at 325 degrees for 2-3 hours.  Or place in a crock pot and cook on low for several hours or on high for 3 hours or so.

If you are short on time and want to finish it on the stove top, then return the browned chops to a skillet, turn the heat to medium, and allow to cook for a few more minutes on each side until the juices run clear, and a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees.

To serve, top chops with a generous spoon full of apple sauce.  Enjoy!

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