Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Apples

My SIL Heidi sent this to me when I requested apple recipes a while back, and I just got around to trying this last night. It was sooo good. It does take a little while to prepare (think 30-40 minutes or so) so it’s not ideal for a weeknight but doable.

2 T firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 T plus 1 tsp kosher salt (I just used sea salt from my grinder)
1 T chopped fresh rosemary (or whatever you have – I only had fresh parsley which is virtually flavor-free, so I’ll get rosemary next time)
4 thin-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick each – if you don’t get the thin cut ones, pound them flat – you’ll be sorry if you don’t)
1 T bacon grease (or butter or oil)
2 small to medium red apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup apricot jam, preferably fruit sweetened
1/4 cup calados or brandy (uh, we don’t have this – I used cooking sherry. White wine would also be fine.)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine brown sugar, salt and rosemary in a small bowl and stir together. Coat the THIN pork chops on both sides with the mixture, gently massaging the meat with your fingers to jump-start the curing process. Let stand for 15 min. Rinse the chops and pat dry with paper towels. Season chops with pepper.

Melt the bacon grease in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add chops, and cook until crispy brown, about 3 minutes on each side. NOTE: mine were pretty dark and I was worried that they were going to taste burnt but it wasn’t a problem at all! Next time, when I pound them flat enough, they won’t have to cook as long.

Transfer the chops to a plate and cover with foil. Add the apples to the skillet and cook, stirring gently to brown slightly, about 30 seconds, adding a bit more bacon grease if the pan is dry. Add the stock, jam, sherry, and cinnamon and stir well. Cook until the sauce thickens and is rich brown in color, about 10 minutes.

Uncover the chops and top with the glazed apples.

SO, the sauce didn’t thicken, but that wasn’t a big problem; we just used it more like a glaze. The kids ALL ate pork without the sauce and apples, which was fine with me. We’ve got a new favorite!

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