Monday, October 28, 2013

Meaty Monday: Quick Pork Chops with Cabbage, Apples & Hard Cider

Is there anything as comforting sounding as the words "We're having pork chops for dinner"? I don't think so.  If there are pork chops on the menu, I actually look forward to dinner all day. Weird but true.  Cheered me right up at work today knowing there were going to be nice, juicy chops tonight. A Meatless Monday night dinner would NEVER have that effect on me unless it was mac and cheese. And meatloaf. But I digress.

This combination is wonderful--it isn't exactly sweet, but it has the perfect rich pork and crisp apple fall flavor. Obviously, its good washed down with more hard cider. Or a fruity white wine. Or in my case, diet Coke. Let's not go there, either.

This'll take about 45 minutes from fridge to plate and that'll leave you enough time to make a side dish, have a glass of wine and look at your email while the chops simmer. You'll need either a shallow braiser, or a deepish frying pan that has a cover. Feel free to substitute 12 oz. of apple juice for the hard cider if you don't have any on hand.

Some green beans or carrots, and either some nice bread, rice or noodles will round out this recipe quite well.
Quick Pork Chops with Cabbage, Apples & Hard Cider

Quick Pork Chops with Cabbage, Apples & Hard Cider

Serves 4

4 center-cut boneless pork chops, 1" thick (about 6 oz. each, 1.5 lb. total)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 large sweet onion,  cut in crescents
1 apple, shredded on a large hole grated
1 lb. package of cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrot)
1 scant cup apple juice (a juice box is perfect)
1 bottle of hard cider (12 oz.)
2T Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1. Salt and pepper the chops on both sides. Heat the oil heat in the frying pan over medium high until it shimmers. Add the chops and brown on one side for about 5 minutes until well browned.  Turn and brown the second side for about 3 - 4 minutes. Remove the chops from the pan to a plate and set aside.

2. Add the onion, the shredded apple and the cabbage mix to the pan and toss well. Season with salt and let wilt for a minute or two. Add the apple juice, the hard cider and the Dijon mustard, stir well and bring to a simmer, loosening any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

3. Stir in the thyme and the poultry seasoning, and then return the pork chops and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook about 35 minutes until the chops are cooked through and tender. Taste for seasoning and add salt and / or pepper as needed. Enjoy!

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