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Cider-Brined Pork Chops with Sautéed Apples

Dan Goldberg
Total time 3 hrs, 30 mins
Yield Makes 6 servings
The only time-consuming part of this recipe is brining the pork, which you do a few hours ahead. The simple sauce is easy to prepare and turns a beautiful caramel color. Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes, plus at least 3 hours brining time.


  • 4 cups plus 3/4 cups apple cider
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 6 bone-in pork chops, each 3/4- to 1-in. thick
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Sauteed Apples

Nutrition Information

  • calories 435
  • caloriesfromfat 62 %
  • protein 22 g
  • fat 30 g
  • satfat 15 g
  • carbohydrate 16 g
  • fiber 1.5 g
  • sodium 0.0 mg
  • cholesterol 113 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, mix 4 cups cider, 2 cups cold water, 4 tbsp. salt, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and chile flakes. Add pork chops, cover bowl, and chill, turning meat occasionally, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

  2. Preheat oven to 325º. Remove pork chops from the brine and blot dry. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pork chops (you may need to do this in 2 batches) and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until well browned. Flip chops and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until browned on that side. Layer chops in a 9- by 13-in. baking pan and bake until barely pink in the center (cut to test), 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, pour remaining 3/4 cup cider into the hot frying pan, scraping pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge browned bits. Add the chicken stock, turn the heat to high, and boil until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 tbsp. butter and the mustard. When sauce is no longer bubbling, stir in crème fraîche. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and the pepper. Remove the pork from oven and spoon a generous amount of sauce over each chop. Serve topped with sautéed apples.

  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving; sodium data not available.