It's been a long time since I've made a dinner that just blew me away. Most dinners I cook fall between "that was pretty good!" to "that was only okay." I usually gauge whether or not to make a recipe again based on Matt's reaction — does he get seconds or thirds? Clearly a winner.
But Matt wasn't home when I made these pork chops. I'm still calling it a definite win, based on the fact that I wanted to eat the entire platter in one sitting.
I found the original recipe for "pan-fried pork chops with glazed apples" in my "Bride and Groom First and Forever" cookbook, which is my favorite cookbook; I don't think I've made a single dish I didn't like from it! And pork chops were on sale last week ... so you do the math. It was happening.
These pork chops are so flavorful and delicious. You should make them and invite me over for dinner. The apple part is good too, but I think it's the chops that are really the star of this show.
Here's the recipe, with my modifications.
Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Apple Sauce
(Not applesauce; I don't like applesauce. But it's really more of a sauce than a glaze.)
4 pork chops (about 1/2" thick each)
Pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. butter (Recipe originally called for 1 Tbsp. bacon grease, but I didn't have any. Originally only put one Tbsp. butter in the skillet, but it started getting dry and burned.)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. rosemary
2 medium red apples, cored and chopped (Recipe said to peel them too, but I have no idea how to peel one without it taking a million years. It tasted fine with the peel.)
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/3 c. apricot jam
1/4 c. cream sherry (Recipe originally called for brandy, but I didn't have any. I think a red wine or maybe peach schnapps might also be a good replacement [BUT I HAVEN'T TRIED THEM SO DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT].)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Stir together the brown sugar, salt and rosemary, then rub the mixture into both sides of your chops. Put them on a plate and let them rest for 15 minutes (I left mine out on the counter). Then rinse the rub off and pat the chops dry. Sprinkle with pepper.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until the outside is brown and crispy. (Recipe originally said this would take about 2 minutes per side. I don't like my meat to have pink in the middle, so mine were over the heat for about 4 minutes per side. They were still juicy, I just made sure to move them around in the skillet and flip them a few times.)
Transfer chops to a plate and cover with foil. In the same skillet, add the chopped apples and let cook for a few seconds, stirring frequently. Add all the sauce ingredients and mix together. Cook it for 15 or so minutes until it has thickened a bit. (Recipe originally said to cook for 10 minutes, but my "glaze" turned out much more liquidy than I would have liked. It needs a little more time to thicken up.)
Top the chops with the apple mixture and inhale them like your life depends on it!
Do you like pork chops? What was the last meal you cooked that you were really excited about?