When I moved to my current apartment that has an actual kitchen (if only there was counter space... sigh) I came up with this recipe and it's been a consistent favorite even among the picky eaters I know. It's evolved a bit each time I've made it since this is the first time I've ever attempted to write it down. While apples and pork are a traditional pairing, as far as I know this way of making them is completely original, I never consulted a recipe for inspiration or anything.
Ingredients (scaled to serve 2):
- 2 thick center-cut pork chops (usually boneless but I've used bone-in)
- 2 apples, peeled, quartered, and sliced (preferably 2 different sweet varieties)
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced roughly
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (crushed is better but the regular kind is okay)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (I use about 3 grindings' worth)
- Pour just enough olive oil into a pan (preferably one that is not non-stick) to coat the bottom, set over low-medium heat Meanwhile, take out the pork to rise to room temperature
- Add onion and turn the heat to medium. When it starts sizzling sautee until onions are just starting to get translucent.
- Add apple slices and sautee until just barely turning golden. Cover and reduce heat to low-medium, let cook for 5-10 minutes until apples are soft.
- As soon as you cover the pan (or earlier), mix the herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the pork chops and let sit.
- Give the apple/onion mixture a good stir and push to the outside of the pan. Place pork chops in the empty space created and let brown for 10 minutes (or until browned to your taste).
- Flip the chops and pile the apples and onions on top of the chops. Let brown for about 10 minutes again.
- Cover pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes without disturbing. If you hear a lot of sizzling just reduce heat a little more.
- Turn heat off and leave the pan covered for 5 minutes.
- Knock the apples and onions back into the pan, remove chops to rest on a plate/platter, and turn heat back to medium. Stir the apples and onions (scraping up any fond that may be stuck to the pan) until the juice from them has thickened into a nice sauce.
- Plate the pork chops and top with lots of apple/onion sauce.
Many side dishes work with this recipe, tonight we had peas and brown rice with garlic pepper and it was a delicious combination. Other big hits included roasted butternut squash, roasted sugar pumpkin, and my favorite, a blend of red and sweet potatoes roasted with baby carrots (I promise I'll post that recipe soon as well).