Cider-Brined Pork Chops with Sautéed Apples

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.

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Total:
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 3 Hours, 30 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 435
  • Calories from fat: 62%
  • Protein: 22g
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrate: 16g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 0.0mg
  • Cholesterol: 113mg

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

  1. 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. 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. 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.
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