This is Marie, contributing a recipe that I chose because it seemed so much in line with the season – pork chops and apples. Actually, it was just as much because a) we have a bunch of apples lying around because my boy, who had been going through an apple or two a day so I’d stocked up, stopped wanting to eat them promptly thereafter; also, the previous week I reorganized my freezer while looking unsuccessfully for some pork tenderloin steaks I was sure were in there and set me thinking about how much I wanted them anyway. So I browsed through Google, finding a nice mustardy recipe that looked like my husband’s kind of thing, and carried on.
4 (6- to 8-oz.) bone-in pork rib chops (1 to 1 1/4 inches thick)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (or any tart firm variety)
1 medium-size yellow onion, thinly sliced (root end intact) (I didn’t
bother with this)
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup Dijon mustard (had only a couple of tablespoons of mustard
left in the container, oops! so added in a couple of teaspoons of
2 tablespoons bourbon (skipped this)
8 small fresh thyme sprigs (I used a teaspoon or so of dried thyme)
1. Preheat oven to 450°. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Cook in hot oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet.
2. Add apples and onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet.
3. Add broth to skillet, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Whisk together cream and mustard; add to skillet, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbly.
4. Remove skillet from heat. Add pork, turning to coat, and top with apples, onions, and thyme (since I was using dried, I added it into the sauce to let the flavors come out)
5. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until liquid is just beginning to bubble. Let stand in skillet 5 minutes before serving.
Of course I didn’t leave well enough alone and made some changes. I will have to do this again the right way and see how it compares; the sauce was a bit thinner than I’d have liked. I didn’t compensate enough for using boneless pork. Every change cascades something else and cooking turns into a constant series of MacGyvering a solution! I am definitely in favor of adjusting to the needs of the moment with some things. With bread, it doesn’t work. With sauces, the results can be a little uneven. For everything else, well, olive oil and onions are pretty much the Swiss Army knife and duct tape of cooking, right?
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